Filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-223789
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MAY 14, 2018
(To prospectus dated April 6, 2018)
% Senior Notes due 2023
B. Riley Financial, Inc. is offering $50,000,000 principal amount of our % Senior Notes due 2023 (the “Notes”) as described in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Interest on the Notes will accrue from , 2018 and will be paid quarterly in arrears on January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 of each year, commencing on July 31, 2018. The Notes will mature on May 31, 2023. We may redeem the Notes for cash in whole or in part at any time at our option (i) on or after May 31, 2020 and prior to May 31, 2021, at a price equal to $25.50 per note, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the date of redemption, (ii) on or after May 31, 2021 and prior to May 31, 2022, at a price equal to $25.25 per note, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the date of redemption, and (iii) on or after May 31, 2022 and prior to maturity, at a price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the date of redemption. See “Description of the Notes — Optional Redemption.” The Notes will be issued in denominations of $25 and in integral multiples thereof.
The Notes will be our senior unsecured obligations and will rank equal in right of payment with all of our existing and future senior unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness. The Notes will be effectively subordinated in right of payment to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, and the Notes will be structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness (including trade payables) of our subsidiaries.
Investing in the Notes involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described under “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-8 of this prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.
Neither the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
We intend to apply to list the Notes on the Nasdaq Global Market (“Nasdaq”). If approved for listing, trading on Nasdaq is expected to begin within 30 business days of , 2018, the original issue date.
|Public offering price(1)||$||$|
|Proceeds, before expenses, to us(1)||$||$|
|(1)||Plus accrued interest from , 2018, if the initial settlement occurs after that date.|
|(2)||See “Underwriting” for a description of all underwriting compensation payable in connection with this offering.|
We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional $7,500,000 aggregate principal amount of Notes within 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement solely to cover overallotments.
The underwriters expect to deliver the Notes to purchasers in book-entry form through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company for the accounts of its participants on or about , 2018.
|B. Riley FBR||Ladenburg Thalmann||Incapital|
|Boenning & Scattergood, Inc.||Wedbush Securities||William Blair|
The date of this prospectus supplement is , 2018.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT||S-1|
|CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||S-1|
|PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY||S-3|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||S-33|
|RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES||S-34|
|DESCRIPTION OF THE NOTES||S-36|
|MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS||S-45|
|UNDERWRITING (Conflicts of Interest)||S-49|
|INFORMATION INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE||S-52|
|ABOUT B. RILEY FINANCIAL, INC.||1|
|SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||3|
|DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE||3|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||4|
|SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER||4|
|DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK||5|
|DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS||7|
|DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES||7|
|DESCRIPTION OF UNITS||13|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||14|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION||16|
|INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE||16|
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) utilizing a “shelf” registration process. This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, including the documents incorporated by reference, which describes the specific terms of this offering. The second part, the accompanying prospectus, including the documents incorporated by reference, provides more general information. Generally, when we refer to this prospectus, we are referring to both parts of this document combined. We urge you to carefully read this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein, before buying any of the securities being offered under this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement may add or update information contained in the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference therein. To the extent that any statement we make in this prospectus supplement is inconsistent with statements made in the accompanying prospectus or any documents incorporated by reference therein that were filed before the date of this prospectus supplement, the statements made in this prospectus supplement will be deemed to modify or supersede those made in the accompanying prospectus and such documents incorporated by reference therein.
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, or incorporated by reference herein or therein. Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with different information. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. You should not rely on any unauthorized information or representation. This prospectus supplement is an offer to sell only the securities offered hereby, and only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. You should assume that the information in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is accurate only as of the date on the front of the applicable document and that any information we have incorporated by reference is accurate only as of the date of the document incorporated by reference, regardless of the date of delivery of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, or any sale of a security.
As used in this prospectus, unless the context indicates or otherwise requires, “the Company,” “B. Riley,” “we,” “us” or “our” refer to the combined business of B. Riley Financial, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements relating to our future financial performance, the growth of the market for our services, expansion plans and opportunities and statements regarding our intended uses of the proceeds of the securities offered hereby. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “should,” “will,” “would,” the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology. The statements we make regarding the following subject matters are forward-looking by their nature:
|●||plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other factors discussed in “Risk Factors” contained in this prospectus; and|
|●||the summary of the contemplated merger with magicJack VocalTec Ltd. (“magicJack”) and the estimated timeline for consummation of the merger.|
The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement reflect our current views about future events, are based on assumptions, and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Many important factors could cause actual results or achievements to differ materially from any future results or achievements expressed in or implied by our forward-looking statements, including the factors listed below. Many of the factors that will determine future events or achievements are beyond our ability to control or predict. Certain of these are important factors that could cause actual results or achievements to differ materially from the results or achievements reflected in our forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to:
|●||volatility in our revenues and results of operations;|
|●||changing conditions in the financial markets;|
|●||our ability to generate sufficient revenues to achieve and maintain profitability;|
|●||the short term nature of our engagements;|
|●||the accuracy of our estimates and valuations of inventory or assets in “guarantee” based engagements;|
|●||competition in the asset management business;|
|●||potential losses related to our auction or liquidation engagements;|
|●||our dependence on communications, information and other systems and third parties;|
|●||potential losses related to purchase transactions in our auction and liquidations business;|
|●||the potential loss of financial institution clients;|
|●||potential losses from or illiquidity of our proprietary investments;|
|●||changing economic and market conditions;|
|●||potential liability and harm to our reputation if we were to provide an inaccurate appraisal or valuation;|
|●||potential mark-downs in inventory in connection with purchase transactions;|
|●||failure to successfully compete in any of our segments;|
|●||loss of key personnel;|
|●||our ability to borrow under our credit facilities as necessary;|
|●||failure to comply with the terms of our credit agreements;|
|●||our ability to meet future capital requirements;|
|●||our ability to realize the benefits of our completed and proposed acquisitions, including our ability to achieve anticipated opportunities and operating cost savings, and accretion to reported earnings estimated to result from completed and proposed acquisitions in the time frame expected by management or at all;|
|●||the possibility that our proposed acquisition of magicJack does not close when expected or at all;|
|●||our ability to promptly and effectively integrate our business with that of magicJack if such transactions close;|
|●||the reaction to the magicJack acquisition of our and magicJack’s customers, employees and counterparties; and|
|●||the diversion of management time on acquisition-related issues.|
The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement reflect our views and assumptions only as of the date of this prospectus supplement. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we assume no responsibility for updating any forward-looking statements nor do we intend to do so. Our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. The risks included in this section are not exhaustive. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements are set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-8.
An investment in the Notes involves significant risks, including the risks described below. Before purchasing the Notes, you should carefully consider each of the following risk factors as well as the other information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes. Each of these risk factors, either alone or taken together, could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition, as well as adversely affect the value of an investment in the Notes. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks of which we are not presently aware or that we currently believe are immaterial which may also impair our business operations and financial position. If any of the events described below were to occur, our financial condition, our results of operations and/or our future growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected. As a result, you could lose some or all of any investment you may have made or may make in our Company.
Risks Related to Our Business
Our revenues and results of operations are volatile and difficult to predict.
Our revenues and results of operations fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter, due to a number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
|●||Our ability to attract new clients and obtain additional business from our existing client base;|
|●||The number, size and timing of mergers and acquisition transactions, capital raising transactions and other strategic advisory services where we act as an adviser on our auction and liquidation and investment banking engagements;|
|●||The extent to which we acquire assets for resale, or guarantee a minimum return thereon, and our ability to resell those assets at favorable prices;|
|●||Variability in the mix of revenues from the auction and liquidation and valuation and appraisal businesses;|
|●||The rate of decline we experience from our dial-up and DSL Internet access pay accounts in our UOL business as customers continue to migrate to broadband access which provides faster Internet connection and download speeds offered by our competitors;|
|●||The rate of growth of new service areas;|
|●||The types of fees we charge clients, or other financial arrangements we enter into with clients; and|
|●||Changes in general economic and market conditions.|
We have limited or no control over some of the factors set forth above and, as a result, may be unable to forecast our revenues accurately. For example, our investment banking revenues are typically earned upon the successful completion of a transaction, the timing of which is uncertain and beyond our control. A client’s acquisition transaction may be delayed or terminated because of a failure to agree upon final terms with the counterparty, failure to obtain necessary regulatory consents or board or stockholder approvals, failure to secure necessary financing, adverse market conditions or unexpected financial or other problems in the business of a client or a counterparty. If the parties fail to complete a transaction on which we are advising or an offering in which we are participating, we will earn little or no revenue from the contemplated transaction.
We rely on projections of revenues in developing our operating plans for the future and will base our expectations regarding expenses on these projections and plans. If we inaccurately forecast revenues and/or earnings, or fail to accurately project expenses, we may be unable to adjust our spending in a timely manner to compensate for these inaccuracies and, as a result, may suffer operating losses and such losses could have a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations. If, for any reason, we fail to meet company, investor or analyst projections of revenue, growth or earnings, the market price of the common stock could decline and you may lose all or part of your investment.
Conditions in the financial markets and general economic conditions have impacted and may continue to impact our ability to generate business and revenues, which may cause significant fluctuations in our stock price.
Our business has in the past, and may in the future, be materially affected by conditions in the financial market and general economic conditions, such as the level and volatility of interest rates, investor sentiment, the availability and the cost of credit, the U.S. mortgage market, the U.S. real estate market, volatile energy prices, consumer confidence, unemployment, and geopolitical issues. Further, certain aspects of our business are cyclical in nature and changes in the current economic environment may require us to adjust our sales and marketing practices and react to different business opportunities and modes of competition. If we are not successful in reacting to changing economic conditions, we may lose business opportunities which could harm our financial condition. For example, we are more likely to conduct auctions and liquidations in connection with insolvencies and store closures during periods of economic downturn relative to periods of economic expansion. Conversely, during an economic downturn, financial institutions that provide asset-based loans typically reduce the number of loans made, which reduces their need for our valuation and appraisal services.
In addition, weakness or disruption in equity markets and diminished trading volume of securities could adversely impact our sales and trading business in the future. Any industry-wide declines in the size and number of underwritings and mergers and acquisitions transactions could also have an adverse effect on our investment banking revenues. Reductions in the trading prices for equity securities tend to reduce the transaction value of investment banking transactions, such as underwriting and mergers and acquisitions transactions, which in turn may reduce the fees we earn from these transactions. Market conditions may also affect the level and volatility of securities prices and the liquidity and value of investments in our funds and proprietary inventory, and we may not be able to manage our business’s exposure to these market conditions. In addition to these factors, deterioration in the financial markets or economic conditions could materially affect our investment banking business in other ways, including the following:
|●||Our opportunity to act as underwriter or placement agent could be adversely affected by a reduction in the number and size of capital raising transactions or by competing government sources of equity.|
|●||The number and size of mergers and acquisitions transactions or other strategic advisory services where we act as adviser could be adversely affected by continued uncertainties in valuations related to asset quality and creditworthiness, volatility in the equity markets, and diminished access to financing.|
|●||Market volatility could lead to a decline in the volume of transactions that we execute for our customers and, therefore, to a decline in the revenue we receive from commissions and spreads.|
|●||We may experience losses in securities trading activities, or as a result of write-downs in the value of securities that we own, as a result of deteriorations in the businesses or creditworthiness of the issuers of such securities.|
|●||We may experience losses or write downs in the realizable value of our proprietary investments due to the inability of companies we invest in to repay their borrowings.|
|●||Our access to liquidity and the capital markets could be limited, preventing us from making proprietary investments and restricting our sales and trading businesses.|
|●||We may incur unexpected costs or losses as a result of the bankruptcy or other failure of companies for which we have performed investment banking services to honor ongoing obligations such as indemnification or expense reimbursement agreements.|
|●||Sudden sharp declines in market values of securities can result in illiquid markets and the failure of counterparties to perform their obligations, which could make it difficult for us to sell securities, hedge securities positions, and invest funds under management.|
|●||As an introducing broker to clearing firms, we are responsible to the clearing firm and could be held liable for the defaults of our customers, including losses incurred as the result of a customer’s failure to meet a margin call. When we allow customers to purchase securities on margin, we are subject to risks inherent in extending credit. This risk increases when a market is rapidly declining and the value of the collateral held falls below the amount of a customer’s indebtedness. If a customer’s account is liquidated as the result of a margin call, we are liable to our clearing firm for any deficiency.|
|●||Competition in our investment banking, sales, and trading businesses could intensify as a result of the increasing pressures on financial services companies and larger firms competing for transactions and business that historically would have been too small for them to consider.|
|●||Market volatility could result in lower prices for securities, which may result in reduced management fees calculated as a percentage of assets under management.|
|●||Market declines could increase claims and litigation, including arbitration claims from customers.|
|●||Our industry could face increased regulation as a result of legislative or regulatory initiatives. Compliance with such regulation may increase our costs and limit our ability to pursue business opportunities.|
|●||Government intervention may not succeed in improving the financial and credit markets and may have negative consequences for our business.|
It is difficult to predict how long current financial market and economic conditions will continue, whether they will deteriorate and if they do, which of our business lines will be adversely affected. If one or more of the foregoing risks occurs, our revenues are likely to decline and, if we were unable to reduce expenses at the same pace, our profit margins could erode.
We focus principally on specific sectors of the economy in our investment banking operations, and deterioration in the business environment in these sectors or a decline in the market for securities of companies within these sectors could harm our business.
We focus principally on five target industries in our investment banking operations: consumer goods, consumer services, defense, industrials and technology. Volatility in the business environment in these industries or in the market for securities of companies within these industries could adversely affect our financial results and the market value of our common stock. The business environment for companies in some of these industries has been subject to high levels of volatility in recent years, and our financial results have consequently been subject to significant variations from year to year. The market for securities in each of our target industries may also be subject to industry-specific risks. For example, we have research, investment banking and principal investments focused in the areas of defense. This sector has been subject to U.S. Department of Defense budget cuts as well as by disruptions in the financial markets and downturns in the general economy. The consumer goods and services sectors are subject to consumer spending trends, which have been volatile, to mall traffic trends, which have been down, to the availability of credit, and to broader trends such as the rise of Internet retailers. Emerging markets have driven the growth of certain consumer companies but emerging market economies are fragile, subject to wide swings in GDP, and subject to changes in foreign currencies. The technology industry has been volatile, driven by evolving technology trends, by technological obsolescence, by enterprise spending, and by changes in the capital spending trends of major corporations and government agencies around the world.
Our investment banking operations focus on various sectors of the economy, and we also depend significantly on private company transactions for sources of revenues and potential business opportunities. Most of these private company clients are initially funded and controlled by private equity firms. To the extent that the pace of these private company transactions slows or the average transaction size declines due to a decrease in private equity financings, difficult market conditions in our target industries or other factors, our business and results of operations may be harmed.
Underwriting and other corporate finance transactions, strategic advisory engagements and related sales and trading activities in our target industries represent a significant portion of our investment banking business. This concentration of activity in our target industries exposes us to the risk of declines in revenues in the event of downturns in these industries.
Our corporate finance and strategic advisory engagements are singular in nature and do not generally provide for subsequent engagements.
Our investment banking clients generally retain us on a short-term, engagement-by-engagement basis in connection with specific corporate finance, merger and acquisition transactions (often as an advisor in company sale transactions) and other strategic advisory services, rather than on a recurring basis under long-term contracts. As these transactions are typically singular in nature and our engagements with these clients may not recur, we must seek new engagements when our current engagements are successfully completed or are terminated. As a result, high activity levels in any period are not necessarily indicative of continued high levels of activity in any subsequent period. If we are unable to generate a substantial number of new engagements that generate fees from new or existing clients, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
The asset management business is intensely competitive.
Over the past several years, the size and number of asset management funds, including hedge funds and mutual funds, has continued to increase. If this trend continues, it is possible that it will become increasingly difficult for our funds to raise capital. More significantly, the allocation of increasing amounts of capital to alternative investment strategies by institutional and individual investors leads to a reduction in the size and duration of pricing inefficiencies. Many alternative investment strategies seek to exploit these inefficiencies and, in certain industries, this drives prices for investments higher, in either case increasing the difficulty of achieving targeted returns. In addition, if interest rates were to rise or there were to be a prolonged bull market in equities, the attractiveness of our funds relative to investments in other investment products could decrease. Competition is based on a variety of factors, including:
|●||investor perception of the drive, focus and alignment of interest of an investment manager;|
|●||quality of service provided to and duration of relationship with investors;|
|●||business reputation; and|
|●||level of fees and expenses charged for services.|
We compete in the asset management business with a large number of investment management firms, private equity fund sponsors, hedge fund sponsors and other financial institutions. A number of factors serve to increase our competitive risks, as follows:
|●||investors may develop concerns that we will allow a fund to grow to the detriment of its performance;|
|●||some of our competitors have greater capital, lower targeted returns or greater sector or investment strategy specific expertise than we do, which creates competitive disadvantages with respect to investment opportunities;|
|●||some of our competitors may perceive risk differently than we do which could allow them either to outbid us for investments in particular sectors or, generally, to consider a wider variety of investments;|
|●||there are relatively few barriers to entry impeding new asset management firms, and the successful efforts of new entrants into our various lines of business, including former “star” portfolio managers at large diversified financial institutions as well as such institutions themselves, will continue to result in increased competition; and|
|●||other industry participants in the asset management business continuously seek to recruit our best and brightest investment professionals away from us.|
These and other factors could reduce our earnings and revenues and adversely affect our business. In addition, if we are forced to compete with other alternative asset managers on the basis of price, we may not be able to maintain our current base management and incentive fee structures. We have historically competed primarily on the performance of our funds, and not on the level of our fees relative to those of our competitors. However, there is a risk that fees in the alternative investment management industry will decline, without regard to the historical performance of a manager, including our managers. Fee reductions on our existing or future funds, without corresponding decreases in our cost structure, would adversely affect our revenues and distributable earnings.
Poor investment performance may decrease assets under management and reduce revenues from and the profitability of our asset management business.
Revenues from our asset management business are primarily derived from asset management fees. Asset management fees are generally comprised of management and incentive fees. Management fees are typically based on assets under management, and incentive fees are earned on a quarterly or annual basis only if the return on our managed accounts exceeds a certain threshold return, or “high water mark,” for each investor. We will not earn incentive fee income during a particular period, even when a fund had positive returns in that period, if we do not generate cumulative performance that surpasses a high water mark. If a fund experiences losses, we will not earn incentive fees with regard to investors in that fund until its returns exceed the relevant high water mark.
In addition, investment performance is one of the most important factors in retaining existing investors and competing for new asset management business. Investment performance may be poor as a result of the current or future difficult market or economic conditions, including changes in interest rates or inflation, terrorism or political uncertainty, our investment style, the particular investments that we make, and other factors. Poor investment performance may result in a decline in our revenues and income by causing (i) the net asset value of the assets under our management to decrease, which would result in lower management fees to us, (ii) lower investment returns, resulting in a reduction of incentive fee income to us, and (iii) investor redemptions, which would result in lower fees to us because we would have fewer assets under management.
To the extent our future investment performance is perceived to be poor in either relative or absolute terms, the revenues and profitability of our asset management business will likely be reduced and our ability to grow existing funds and raise new funds in the future will likely be impaired.
The historical returns of our funds may not be indicative of the future results of our funds.
The historical returns of our funds should not be considered indicative of the future results that should be expected from such funds or from any future funds we may raise. Our rates of returns reflect unrealized gains, as of the applicable measurement date, which may never be realized due to changes in market and other conditions not in our control that may adversely affect the ultimate value realized from the investments in a fund. The returns of our funds may have also benefited from investment opportunities and general market conditions that may not repeat themselves, and there can be no assurance that our current or future funds will be able to avail themselves of profitable investment opportunities. Furthermore, the historical and potential future returns of the funds we manage also may not necessarily bear any relationship to potential returns on our common stock.
Our asset management clients may generally redeem their investments, which could reduce our asset management fee revenues.
Our asset management fund agreements generally permit investors to redeem their investments with us after an initial “lockup” period during which redemptions are restricted or penalized. However, any such restrictions may be waived by us. Thereafter, redemptions are permitted at specified intervals. If the return on the assets under our management does not meet investors’ expectations, investors may elect to redeem their investments and invest their assets elsewhere, including with our competitors. Our management fee revenues correlate directly to the amount of assets under our management; therefore, redemptions may cause our fee revenues to decrease. Investors may decide to reallocate their capital away from us and to other asset managers for a number of reasons, including poor relative investment performance, changes in prevailing interest rates which make other investments more attractive, changes in investor perception regarding our focus or alignment of interest, dissatisfaction with changes in or a broadening of a fund’s investment strategy, changes in our reputation, and departures or changes in responsibilities of key investment professionals. For these and other reasons, the pace of redemptions and corresponding reduction in our assets under management could accelerate. In the future, redemptions could require us to liquidate assets under unfavorable circumstances, which would further harm our reputation and results of operations.
We are subject to risks in using custodians.
Our asset management subsidiary and its managed funds depend on the services of custodians to settle and report securities transactions. In the event of the insolvency of a custodian, our funds might not be able to recover equivalent assets in whole or in part as they will rank among the custodian’s unsecured creditors in relation to assets which the custodian borrows, lends or otherwise uses. In addition, cash held by our funds with the custodian will not be segregated from the custodian’s own cash, and the funds will therefore rank as unsecured creditors in relation thereto.
We may suffer losses if our reputation is harmed.
Our ability to attract and retain customers and employees may be diminished to the extent our reputation is damaged. If we fail, or are perceived to fail, to address various issues that may give rise to reputational risk, we could harm our business prospects. These issues include, but are not limited to, appropriately dealing with market dynamics, potential conflicts of interest, legal and regulatory requirements, ethical issues, customer privacy, record-keeping, sales and trading practices, and the proper identification of the legal, reputational, credit, liquidity and market risks inherent in our products and services. Failure to appropriately address these issues could give rise to loss of existing or future business, financial loss, and legal or regulatory liability, including complaints, claims and enforcement proceedings against us, which could, in turn, subject us to fines, judgments and other penalties. In addition, our capital markets operations depend to a large extent on our relationships with our clients and reputation for integrity and high-caliber professional services to attract and retain clients. As a result, if a client is not satisfied with our services, it may be more damaging in our business than in other businesses.
Our capital markets operations are highly dependent on communications, information and other systems and third parties, and any systems failures could significantly disrupt our capital markets business.
Our data and transaction processing, custody, financial, accounting and other technology and operating systems are essential to our capital markets operations. A system malfunction (due to hardware failure, capacity overload, security incident, data corruption, etc.) or mistake made relating to the processing of transactions could result in financial loss, liability to clients, regulatory intervention, reputational damage and constraints on our ability to grow. We outsource a substantial portion of our critical data processing activities, including trade processing and back office data processing. We also contract with third parties for market data and other services. In the event that any of these service providers fails to adequately perform such services or the relationship between that service provider and us is terminated, we may experience a significant disruption in our operations, including our ability to timely and accurately process transactions or maintain complete and accurate records of those transactions.
Adapting or developing our technology systems to meet new regulatory requirements, client needs, expansion and industry demands also is critical for our business. Introduction of new technologies present new challenges on a regular basis. We have an ongoing need to upgrade and improve our various technology systems, including our data and transaction processing, financial, accounting, risk management and trading systems. This need could present operational issues or require significant capital spending. It also may require us to make additional investments in technology systems and may require us to reevaluate the current value and/or expected useful lives of our technology systems, which could negatively impact our results of operations.
Secure processing, storage and transmission of confidential and other information in our internal and outsourced computer systems and networks also is critically important to our business. We take protective measures and endeavor to modify them as circumstances warrant. However, our computer systems, software and networks may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses or other malicious code, inadvertent, erroneous or intercepted transmission of information (including by e-mail), and other events that could have an information security impact. If one or more of such events occur, this potentially could jeopardize our or our clients' or counterparties' confidential and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our, our clients', our counterparties' or third parties' operations. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures, and we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered through any insurance maintained by us.
A disruption in the infrastructure that supports our business due to fire, natural disaster, health emergency (for example, a disease pandemic), power or communication failure, act of terrorism or war may affect our ability to service and interact with our clients. If we are not able to implement contingency plans effectively, any such disruption could harm our results of operations.
The growth of electronic trading and the introduction of new technology in the markets in which our market-making business operates may adversely affect this business and may increase competition.
The continued growth of electronic trading and the introduction of new technologies is changing our market-making business and presenting new challenges. Securities, futures and options transactions are increasingly occurring electronically, through alternative trading systems. It appears that the trend toward alternative trading systems will continue to accelerate. This acceleration could further increase program trading, increase the speed of transactions and decrease our ability to participate in transactions as principal, which would reduce the profitability of our market-making business. Some of these alternative trading systems compete with our market-making business and with our algorithmic trading platform, and we may experience continued competitive pressures in these and other areas. Significant resources have been invested in the development of our electronic trading systems, which includes our at-the-market business, but there is no assurance that the revenues generated by these systems will yield an adequate return on the investment, particularly given the increased program trading and increased percentage of stocks trading off of the historically manual trading markets.
Pricing and other competitive pressures may impair the revenues of our sales and trading business.
We derive a significant portion of our revenues for our investment banking operations from our sales and trading business. There has been intense price competition and trading volume reduction in this business in recent years. In particular, the ability to execute trades electronically and through alternative trading systems has increased the downward pressure on per share trading commissions and spreads. We expect these trends toward alternative trading systems and downward pricing pressure in the business to continue. We believe we may experience competitive pressures in these and other areas in the future as some of our competitors seek to obtain market share by competing on the basis of price or by using their own capital to facilitate client trading activities. In addition, we face pressure from our larger competitors, which may be better able to offer a broader range of complementary products and services to clients in order to win their trading business. These larger competitors may also be better able to respond to changes in the research, brokerage and investment banking industries, to compete for skilled professionals, to finance acquisitions, to fund internal growth and to compete for market share generally. As we are committed to maintaining and improving our comprehensive research coverage in our target sectors to support our sales and trading business, we may be required to make substantial investments in our research capabilities to remain competitive. If we are unable to compete effectively in these areas, the revenues of our sales and trading business may decline, and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be harmed.
Some of our large institutional sales and trading clients in terms of brokerage revenues have entered into arrangements with us and other investment banking firms under which they separate payments for research products or services from trading commissions for sales and trading services, and pay for research directly in cash, instead of compensating the research providers through trading commissions (referred to as “soft dollar” practices). In addition, we have entered into certain commission sharing arrangements in which institutional clients execute trades with a limited number of brokers and instruct those brokers to allocate a portion of the commission directly to us or other broker-dealers for research or to an independent research provider. If more of such arrangements are reached between our clients and us, or if similar practices are adopted by more firms in the investment banking industry, it may further increase the competitive pressures on trading commissions and spreads and reduce the value our clients place on high quality research. Conversely, if we are unable to make similar arrangements with other investment managers that insist on separating trading commissions from research products, volumes and trading commissions in our sales and trading business also would likely decrease.
Larger and more frequent capital commitments in our trading and underwriting businesses increase the potential for significant losses.
Certain financial services firms make larger and more frequent commitments of capital in many of their activities. For example, in order to win business, some investment banks increasingly commit to purchase large blocks of stock from publicly traded issuers or significant stockholders, instead of the more traditional marketed underwriting process in which marketing is typically completed before an investment bank commits to purchase securities for resale. We may participate in this activity and, as a result, we may be subject to increased risk. Conversely, if we do not have sufficient regulatory capital to so participate, our business may suffer. Furthermore, we may suffer losses as a result of the positions taken in these transactions even when economic and market conditions are generally favorable for others in the industry.
We may increasingly commit our own capital as part of our trading business to facilitate client sales and trading activities. The number and size of these transactions may adversely affect our results of operations in a given period. We may also incur significant losses from our sales and trading activities due to market fluctuations and volatility in our results of operations. To the extent that we own assets, i.e., have long positions, in any of those markets, a downturn in the value of those assets or in those markets could result in losses. Conversely, to the extent that we have sold assets we do not own, i.e., have short positions, in any of those markets, an upturn in those markets could expose us to potentially large losses as we attempt to cover our short positions by acquiring assets in a rising market.
We have made and may make principal investments in relatively high-risk, illiquid assets that often have significantly leveraged capital structures, and we may fail to realize any profits from these activities for a considerable period of time or lose some or all of the principal amount we invest in these activities.
We may purchase equity securities and, to a lesser extent, debt securities, in venture capital, seed and other high risk financings of early-stage, pre-public or “mezzanine stage”, distressed situations and turnaround companies, as well as funds or other collective investment vehicles. We risk the loss of capital we have invested in these activities.
We may use our capital, including on a leveraged basis in proprietary investments in both private company and public company securities that may be illiquid and volatile. The equity securities of a privately-held entity in which we make a proprietary investment are likely to be restricted as to resale and may otherwise be highly illiquid. In the case of fund or similar investments, our investments may be illiquid until such investment vehicles are liquidated. We expect that there will be restrictions on our ability to resell the securities of any such company that we acquire for a period of at least six months after we acquire those securities. Thereafter, a public market sale may be subject to volume limitations or dependent upon securing a registration statement for an initial and potentially secondary public offering of the securities. We may make principal investments that are significant relative to the overall capitalization of the investee company and resales of significant amounts of these securities might be subject to significant limitations and adversely affect the market and the sales price for the securities in which we invest. In addition, our principal investments may involve entities or businesses with capital structures that have significant leverage. The large amount of borrowing in the leveraged capital structure increases the risk of losses due to factors such as rising interest rates, downturns in the economy or deteriorations in the condition of the investment or its industry. In the event of defaults under borrowings, the assets being financed would be at risk of foreclosure, and we could lose our entire investment.
Even if we make an appropriate investment decision based on the intrinsic value of an enterprise, we cannot assure you that general market conditions will not cause the market value of our investments to decline. For example, an increase in interest rates, a general decline in the stock markets, or other market and industry conditions adverse to companies of the type in which we invest and intend to invest could result in a decline in the value of our investments or a total loss of our investment.
In addition, some of these investments are, or may in the future be, in industries or sectors which are unstable, in distress or undergoing some uncertainty. Further, the companies in which we invest may rely on new or developing technologies or novel business models, or concentrate on markets which are or may be disproportionately impacted by pressures in the financial services and/or mortgage and real estate sectors, have not yet developed and which may never develop sufficiently to support successful operations, or their existing business operations may deteriorate or may not expand or perform as projected. Such investments may be subject to rapid changes in value caused by sudden company-specific or industry-wide developments. Contributing capital to these investments is risky, and we may lose some or all of the principal amount of our investments. There are no regularly quoted market prices for a number of the investments that we make. The value of our investments is determined using fair value methodologies described in valuation policies, which may consider, among other things, the nature of the investment, the expected cash flows from the investment, bid or ask prices provided by third parties for the investment and the trading price of recent sales of securities (in the case of publicly-traded securities), restrictions on transfer and other recognized valuation methodologies. The methodologies we use in valuing individual investments are based on estimates and assumptions specific to the particular investments. Therefore, the value of our investments does not necessarily reflect the prices that would actually be obtained by us when such investments are sold. Realizations, if any, at values significantly lower than the values at which investments have been reflected on our balance sheet would result in loses of potential incentive income and principal investments.
We may experience write downs of our investments and other losses related to the valuation of our investments and volatile and illiquid market conditions.
In our proprietary investment activities, our concentrated holdings, illiquidity and market volatility may make it difficult to value certain of our investment securities. Subsequent valuations, in light of factors then prevailing, may result in significant changes in the values of these securities in future periods. In addition, at the time of any sales and settlements of these securities, the price we ultimately realize will depend on the demand and liquidity in the market at that time and may be materially lower than their current fair value. Any of these factors could require us to take write downs in the value of our investment and securities portfolio, which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations in future periods.
Our underwriting and market-making activities may place our capital at risk.
We may incur losses and be subject to reputational harm to the extent that, for any reason, we are unable to sell securities we purchased as an underwriter at the anticipated price levels. As an underwriter, we also are subject to heightened standards regarding liability for material misstatements or omissions in prospectuses and other offering documents relating to offerings we underwrite. Further, even though underwriting agreements with issuing companies typically include a right to indemnification in favor of the underwriter for these offerings to cover potential liability from any material misstatements or omissions, indemnification may be unavailable or insufficient in certain circumstances, for example if the issuing company has become insolvent. As a market maker, we may own large positions in specific securities, and these undiversified holdings concentrate the risk of market fluctuations and may result in greater losses than would be the case if our holdings were more diversified.
Our businesses, profitability and liquidity may be adversely affected by deterioration in the credit quality of, or defaults by, third parties who owe us money, securities or other assets, or whose securities or obligations we hold.
The amount and duration of our credit exposures have been increasing over the past year, as have the breadth and size of the entities to which we have credit exposures. We are exposed to the risk that third parties that owe us money, securities or other assets will not perform their obligations. These parties may default on their obligations to us due to bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failure or other reasons. Declines in the market value of securities can result in the failure of buyers and sellers of securities to fulfill their settlement obligations, and in the failure of our clients to fulfill their credit obligations. During market downturns, counterparties to us in securities transactions may be less likely to complete transactions. In addition, particularly during market downturns, we may face additional expenses defending or pursuing claims or litigation related to counterparty or client defaults.
Our businesses may be adversely affected by the disruptions in the credit markets, including reduced access to credit and liquidity and higher costs of obtaining credit.
In the event existing internal and external financial resources do not satisfy our needs, we would have to seek additional outside financing. The availability of outside financing will depend on a variety of factors, such as our financial condition and results of operations, the availability of acceptable collateral, market conditions, the general availability of credit, the volume of trading activities, and the overall availability of credit to the financial services industry.
Widening credit spreads, as well as significant declines in the availability of credit, could adversely affect our ability to borrow on an unsecured basis. Disruptions in the credit markets could make it more difficult and more expensive to obtain funding for our businesses. If our available funding is limited or we are forced to fund our operations at a higher cost, these conditions may require us to curtail our business activities and increase our cost of funding, both of which could reduce our profitability, particularly in our businesses that involve investing and taking principal positions.
Liquidity, or ready access to funds, is essential to financial services firms, including ours. Failures of financial institutions have often been attributable in large part to insufficient liquidity. Liquidity is of particular importance to our sales and trading business, and perceived liquidity issues may affect the willingness of our clients and counterparties to engage in sales and trading transactions with us. Our liquidity could be impaired due to circumstances that we may be unable to control, such as a general market disruption or an operational problem that affects our sales and trading clients, third parties or us. Further, our ability to sell assets may be impaired if other market participants are seeking to sell similar assets at the same time.
Our clients engaging us with respect to mergers and acquisitions often rely on access to the secured and unsecured credit markets to finance their transactions. The lack of available credit and the increased cost of credit could adversely affect the size, volume and timing of our clients’ merger and acquisition transactions—particularly large transactions—and adversely affect our investment banking business and revenues.
We have experienced losses and may not maintain profitability.
Our profitability in each reporting period is impacted by the number and size of retail liquidation and capital markets engagements we perform on a quarterly or annual basis. It is possible that we will experience losses with respect to our current operations as we continue to expand our operations. In addition, we expect that our operating expenses will increase to the extent that we grow our business. We may not be able to generate sufficient revenues to maintain profitability.
Because of their significant stock ownership, some of our existing stockholders will be able to exert control over us and our significant corporate decisions.
Our executive officers, directors and their affiliates own or control, in the aggregate, approximately 23.4% of our outstanding common stock as of December 31, 2017. In particular, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bryant R. Riley, owns or controls, in the aggregate, 4,262,561 shares of our common stock or 16.0% of our outstanding common stock as of December 31, 2017. These stockholders are able to exercise influence over matters requiring stockholder approval, such as the election of directors and the approval of significant corporate transactions, including transactions involving an actual or potential change of control of the company or other transactions that non-controlling stockholders may not deem to be in their best interests. This concentration of ownership may harm the market price of our common stock by, among other things:
|●||delaying, deferring, or preventing a change in control of our company;|
|●||impeding a merger, consolidation, takeover, or other business combination involving our company;|
|●||causing us to enter into transactions or agreements that are not in the best interests of all stockholders; or|
|●||discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company.|
We may incur losses as a result of “guarantee” based engagements that we enter into in connection with our auction and liquidation solutions business.
In many instances, in order to secure an engagement, we are required to bid for that engagement by guaranteeing to the client a minimum amount that such client will receive from the sale of inventory or assets. Our bid is based on a variety of factors, including: our experience, expertise, perceived value added by engagement, valuation of the inventory or assets and the prices we believe potential buyers would be willing to pay for such inventory or assets. An inaccurate estimate of any of the above or inaccurate valuation of the assets or inventory could result in us submitting a bid that exceeds the realizable proceeds from any engagement. If the liquidation proceeds, net of direct operating expenses, are less than the amount we guaranteed in our bid, we will incur a loss. Therefore, in the event that the proceeds, net of direct operating expenses, from an engagement are less than the bid, the value of the assets or inventory decline in value prior to the disposition or liquidation, or the assets are overvalued for any reason, we may suffer a loss and our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Losses due to any auction or liquidation engagement may cause us to become unable to make payments due to our creditors and may cause us to default on our debt obligations.
We have three engagement structures for our auction and liquidation services: (i) a “fee” based structure under which we are compensated for our role in an engagement on a commission basis, (ii) purchase on an outright basis (and take title to) the assets or inventory of the client, and (iii) “guarantee” to the client that a certain amount will be realized by the client upon the sale of the assets or inventory based on contractually defined terms in the auction or liquidation contract. We bear the risk of loss under the purchase and guarantee structures of auction and liquidation contracts. If the amount realized from the sale or disposition of assets, net of direct operating expenses, does not equal or exceed the purchase price (in purchase transaction), we will recognize a loss on the engagement, or should the amount realized, net of direct operating expenses, not equal or exceed the “guarantee,” we are still required to pay the guaranteed amount to the client.
We could incur losses in connection with outright purchase transactions in which we engage as part of our auction and liquidation solutions business.
When we conduct an asset disposition or liquidation on an outright purchase basis, we purchase from the client the assets or inventory to be sold or liquidated and therefore, we hold title to any assets or inventory that we are not able to sell. In other situations, we may acquire assets from our clients if we believe that we can identify a potential buyer and sell the assets at a premium to the price paid. We store these unsold or acquired assets and inventory until they can be sold or, alternatively, transported to the site of a liquidation of comparable assets or inventory that we are conducting. If we are forced to sell these assets for less than we paid, or are required to transport and store assets multiple times, the related expenses could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
We depend on financial institutions as primary clients for our valuation and appraisal business. Consequently, the loss of any financial institutions as clients may have an adverse impact on our business.
A majority of the revenue from our valuation and appraisal business is derived from engagements by financial institutions. As a result, any loss of financial institutions as clients of our valuation and advisory services, whether due to changing preferences in service providers, failures of financial institutions or mergers and consolidations within the finance industry, could significantly reduce the number of existing, repeat and potential clients, thereby adversely affecting our revenues. In addition, any larger financial institutions that result from mergers or consolidations in the financial services industry could have greater leverage in negotiating terms of engagements with us, or could decide to internally perform some or all of the valuation and appraisal services which we currently provide to one of the constituent institutions involved in the merger or consolidation or which we could provide in the future. Any of these developments could have a material adverse effect on our valuation and appraisal business.
We may face liability or harm to our reputation as a result of a claim that we provided an inaccurate appraisal or valuation and our insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover the liability.
We could face liability in connection with a claim by a client that we provided an inaccurate appraisal or valuation on which the client relied. Any claim of this type, whether with or without merit, could result in costly litigation, which could divert management’s attention and company resources and harm our reputation. Furthermore, if we are found to be liable, we may be required to pay damages. While our appraisals and valuations are typically provided only for the benefit of our clients, if a third party relies on an appraisal or valuation and suffers harm as a result, we may become subject to a legal claim, even if the claim is without merit. We carry insurance for liability resulting from errors or omissions in connection with our appraisals and valuations; however, the coverage may not be sufficient if we are found to be liable in connection with a claim by a client or third party.
We could be forced to mark down the value of certain assets acquired in connection with outright purchase transactions.
In most instances, inventory is reported on the balance sheet at its historical cost; however, according to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, inventory whose historical cost exceeds its market value should be valued conservatively, which dictates a lower value should apply. Accordingly, should the replacement cost (due to technological obsolescence or otherwise), or the net realizable value of any inventory we hold be less than the cost paid to acquire such inventory (purchase price), we will be required to “mark down” the value of such inventory held. If the value of any inventory held on our balance sheet is required to be written down, such write down could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.
We operate in highly competitive industries. Some of our competitors may have certain competitive advantages, which may cause us to be unable to effectively compete with or gain market share from our competitors.
We face competition with respect to all of our service areas. The level of competition depends on the particular service area and, in the case of our asset and liquidation services, the category of assets being liquidated or appraised. We compete with other companies and investment banks to help clients with their corporate finance and capital needs. In addition, we compete with companies and online services in the bidding for assets and inventory to be liquidated. The demand for online solutions continues to grow and our online competitors include other e-commerce providers, auction websites such as eBay, as well as government agencies and traditional liquidators and auctioneers that have created websites to further enhance their product offerings and more efficiently liquidate assets. We expect the market to become even more competitive as the demand for such services continues to increase and traditional and online liquidators and auctioneers continue to develop online and offline services for disposition, redeployment and remarketing of wholesale surplus and salvage assets. In addition, manufacturers, retailers and government agencies may decide to create their own websites to sell their own surplus assets and inventory and those of third parties.
We also compete with other providers of valuation and advisory services. Competitive pressures within the valuation and appraisal services market, including a decrease in the number of engagements and/or a decrease in the fees which can be charged for these services, could affect revenues from our valuation and appraisal services as well as our ability to engage new or repeat clients. We believe that given the relatively low barriers to entry in the valuation and appraisal services market, this market may become more competitive as the demand for such services increases.
Some of our competitors may be able to devote greater financial resources to marketing and promotional campaigns, secure merchandise from sellers on more favorable terms, adopt more aggressive pricing or inventory availability policies and devote more resources to website and systems development than we are able to do. Any inability on our part to effectively compete could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, growth potential and results of operations.
We compete with specialized investment banks to provide financial and investment banking services to small and middle-market companies. Middle-market investment banks provide access to capital and strategic advice to small and middle-market companies in our target industries. We compete with those investment banks on the basis of a number of factors, including client relationships, reputation, the abilities of our professionals, transaction execution, innovation, price, market focus and the relative quality of our products and services. We have experienced intense competition over obtaining advisory mandates in recent years, and we may experience pricing pressures in our investment banking business in the future as some of our competitors seek to obtain increased market share by reducing fees. Competition in the middle-market may further intensify if larger Wall Street investment banks expand their focus to this sector of the market. Increased competition could reduce our market share from investment banking services and our ability to generate fees at historical levels.
We also face increased competition due to a trend toward consolidation. In recent years, there has been substantial consolidation and convergence among companies in the financial services industry. This trend was amplified in connection with the unprecedented disruption and volatility in the financial markets during the past several years, and, as a result, a number of financial services companies have merged, been acquired or have fundamentally changed their respective business models. Many of these firms may have the ability to support investment banking, including financial advisory services, with commercial banking, insurance and other financial services in an effort to gain market share, which could result in pricing pressure in our businesses.
UOL competes with numerous providers of broadband, mobile broadband and DSL services, as well as other dial-up Internet access providers, many of whom are large and have significantly more financial and marketing resources. The principal competitors for UOL’s mobile broadband and DSL services include, among others, local exchange carriers, wireless and satellite service providers, and cable service providers.
If we are unable to attract and retain qualified personnel, we may not be able to compete successfully in our industry.
Our future success depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of senior management and the ability to attract and retain other highly qualified management personnel. We face competition for management from other companies and organizations; therefore, we may not be able to retain our existing personnel or fill new positions or vacancies created by expansion or turnover at existing compensation levels. Although we have entered into employment agreements with key members of the senior management team, there can be no assurances such key individuals will remain with us. The loss of any of our executive officers or other key management personnel would disrupt our operations and divert the time and attention of our remaining officers and management personnel which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and potential for growth.
We also face competition for highly skilled employees with experience in our industry, which requires a unique knowledge base. We may be unable to recruit or retain other existing technical, sales and client support personnel that are critical to our ability to execute our business plan.
We frequently use borrowings under credit facilities in connection with our guaranty engagements, in which we guarantee a minimum recovery to the client, and outright purchase transactions.
In engagements where we operate on a guaranty or purchase basis, we are typically required to make an upfront payment to the client. If the upfront payment is less than 100% of the guarantee or the purchase price in a “purchase” transaction, we may be required to make successive cash payments until the guarantee is met or we may issue a letter of credit in favor of the client. Depending on the size and structure of the engagement, we may borrow under our credit facilities and may be required to issue a letter of credit in favor of the client for these additional amounts. If we lose any availability under our credit facilities, are unable to borrow under credit facilities and/or issue letters of credit in favor of clients, or borrow under credit facilities and/or issue letters of credit on commercially reasonable terms, we may be unable to pursue large liquidation and disposition engagements, engage in multiple concurrent engagements, pursue new engagements or expand our operations. We are required to obtain approval from the lenders under our existing credit facilities prior to making any borrowings thereunder in connection with a particular engagement. Any inability to borrow under our credit facilities, or enter into one or more other credit facilities on commercially reasonable terms may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and growth.
Defaults under our credit agreements could have an adverse impact on our ability to finance potential engagements.
The terms of our credit agreements contain a number of events of default. Should we default under any of our credit agreements in the future, lenders may take any or all remedial actions set forth in such credit agreement, including, but not limited to, accelerating payment and/or charging us a default rate of interest on all outstanding amounts, refusing to make any further advances or issue letters of credit, or terminating the line of credit. As a result of our reliance on lines of credit and letters of credit, any default under a credit agreement, or remedial actions pursued by lenders following any default under a credit agreement, may require us to immediately repay all outstanding amounts, which may preclude us from pursuing new liquidation and disposition engagements and may increase our cost of capital, each of which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
If we cannot meet our future capital requirements, we may be unable to develop and enhance our services, take advantage of business opportunities and respond to competitive pressures.
We may need to raise additional funds in the future to grow our business internally, invest in new businesses, expand through acquisitions, enhance our current services or respond to changes in our target markets. If we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or equity derivative securities, the issuance of these securities could result in dilution to our existing stockholders. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of debt securities, the terms of that debt could impose additional restrictions on our operations or harm our financial condition. Additional financing may be unavailable on acceptable terms.
We are subject to net capital and other regulatory capital requirements; failure to comply with these rules would significantly harm our business.
B. Riley FBR, our broker-dealer subsidiary, is subject to the net capital requirements of the SEC, FINRA, and various self-regulatory organizations of which it is a member. These requirements typically specify the minimum level of net capital a broker-dealer must maintain and also mandate that a significant part of its assets be kept in relatively liquid form. Failure to maintain the required net capital may subject a firm to limitation of its activities, including suspension or revocation of its registration by the SEC and suspension or expulsion by FINRA and other regulatory bodies, and ultimately may require its liquidation. Failure to comply with the net capital rules could have material and adverse consequences, such as:
|●||limiting our operations that require intensive use of capital, such as underwriting or trading activities; or|
|●||restricting us from withdrawing capital from our subsidiaries, when our broker-dealer subsidiary has more than the minimum amount of required capital. This, in turn, could limit our ability to implement our business and growth strategies, pay interest on and repay the principal of our debt and/or repurchase our shares.|
In addition, a change in the net capital rules or the imposition of new rules affecting the scope, coverage, calculation, or amount of net capital requirements, or a significant operating loss or any large charge against net capital, could have similar adverse effects.
Furthermore, B. Riley FBR is subject to laws that authorize regulatory bodies to block or reduce the flow of funds from it to B. Riley Financial, Inc. As a holding company, B. Riley Financial, Inc. depends on dividends, distributions and other payments from its subsidiaries to fund dividend payments, if any, and to fund all payments on its obligations, including debt obligations. As a result, regulatory actions could impede access to funds that B. Riley Financial, Inc. needs to make payments on obligations, including debt obligations, or dividend payments. In addition, because B. Riley Financial, Inc. holds equity interests in the firm’s subsidiaries, its rights as an equity holder to the assets of these subsidiaries may not materialize, if at all, until the claims of the creditors of these subsidiaries are first satisfied.
We may incur losses as a result of ineffective risk management processes and strategies.
We seek to monitor and control our risk exposure through operational and compliance reporting systems, internal controls, management review processes and other mechanisms. Our investing and trading processes seek to balance our ability to profit from investment and trading positions with our exposure to potential losses. While we employ limits and other risk mitigation techniques, those techniques and the judgments that accompany their application cannot anticipate economic and financial outcomes or the specifics and timing of such outcomes. Thus, we may, in the course of our investment and trading activities, incur losses, which may be significant.
In addition, we are investing our own capital in our funds and funds of funds as well as principal investing activities, and limitations on our ability to withdraw some or all of our investments in these funds or liquidate our investment positions, whether for legal, reputational, illiquidity or other reasons, may make it more difficult for us to control the risk exposures relating to these investments.
Our risk management policies and procedures may leave us exposed to unidentified or unanticipated risks.
Our risk management strategies and techniques may not be fully effective in mitigating our risk exposure in all market environments or against all types of risk. We seek to manage, monitor and control our operational, legal and regulatory risk through operational and compliance reporting systems, internal controls, management review processes and other mechanisms; however, there can be no assurance that our procedures will be fully effective. Further, our risk management methods may not effectively predict future risk exposures, which could be significantly greater than the historical measures indicate. In addition, some of our risk management methods are based on an evaluation of information regarding markets, clients and other matters that are based on assumptions that may no longer be accurate. A failure to adequately manage our growth, or to effectively manage our risk, could materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.
We are exposed to the risk that third parties that owe us money, securities or other assets will not perform their obligations. These parties may default on their obligations to us due to bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failure, and breach of contract or other reasons. We are also subject to the risk that our rights against third parties may not be enforceable in all circumstances. As an introducing broker, we could be held responsible for the defaults or misconduct of our customers. These may present credit concerns, and default risks may arise from events or circumstances that are difficult to detect, foresee or reasonably guard against. In addition, concerns about, or a default by, one institution could lead to significant liquidity problems, losses or defaults by other institutions, which in turn could adversely affect us. If any of the variety of instruments, processes and strategies we utilize to manage our exposure to various types of risk are not effective, we may incur losses.
Our common stock price may fluctuate substantially, and your investment could suffer a decline in value.
The market price of our common stock may be volatile and could fluctuate substantially due to many factors, including, among other things:
|●||actual or anticipated fluctuations in our results of operations;|
|●||announcements of significant contracts and transactions by us or our competitors;|
|●||sale of common stock or other securities in the future;|
|●||the trading volume of our common stock;|
|●||changes in our pricing policies or the pricing policies of our competitors; and|
|●||general economic conditions.|
In addition, the stock market in general has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market factors may materially harm the market price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance.
There is a limited market for our common shares and the trading price of our common shares is subject to volatility.
Our common shares began trading on the over-the-counter bulletin board in August 2009, and we obtained approval to list and trade our shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC’s Nasdaq Capital Market on July 16, 2015. On November 16, 2016, we began trading our shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC’s Nasdaq Global Market. Trading of our common stock has in the past been highly volatile with low trading volume and an active trading market for shares of our common stock may not develop. In such case, selling shares of our common stock may be difficult because the limited trading market for our shares could result in lower prices and larger spreads in the bid and ask prices of our shares, as well as lower trading volume. Further, the market price of shares of our common stock could continue to fluctuate substantially. Additionally, if we are not able to maintain our listing on Nasdaq, then our common stock will again be quoted for trading on an over-the-counter quotation system and may be subject to more significant fluctuations in stock price and trading volume and large bid and ask price spreads.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to issue new series of preferred stock that may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control, which could adversely affect the value of your shares.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our board of directors will be authorized to issue from time to time, without further stockholder approval, up to 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix or alter the designations, preferences, rights and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions of the shares of each series, including the dividend rights, dividend rates, conversion rights, voting rights, rights of redemption, including sinking fund provisions, redemption price or prices, liquidation preferences and the number of shares constituting any series or designations of any series. Such shares of preferred stock could have preferences over our common stock with respect to dividends and liquidation rights. We may issue additional preferred stock in ways which may delay, defer or prevent a change of control of our company without further action by our stockholders. Such shares of preferred stock may be issued with voting rights that may adversely affect the voting power of the holders of our common stock by increasing the number of outstanding shares having voting rights, and by the creation of class or series voting rights.
Anti-takeover provisions under our charter documents and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change of control and could also limit the market price of our stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our bylaws, as amended, contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our board of directors that our stockholders might consider favorable. We are also governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporate Law, which may prohibit certain business combinations with stockholders owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock. The foregoing and other provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our bylaws, as amended, and Delaware law could make it more difficult for stockholders or potential acquirers to obtain control of our board of directors or initiate actions that are opposed by the then-current board of directors, including delaying or impeding a merger, tender offer, or proxy contest or other change of control transaction involving our company. Any delay or prevention of a change of control transaction or changes in our board of directors could prevent the consummation of a transaction in which our stockholders could receive a substantial premium over the then current market price for their shares.
Our ability to use net operating loss carryovers to reduce our taxable income may be limited.
As a result of the common stock offering that was completed on June 5, 2014, the Company had a more than 50% ownership shift in accordance with Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Accordingly, the Company may be limited to the amount of net operating loss that may be utilized in future taxable years depending on the Company’s actual taxable income. As a result of the acquisition of UOL on July 1, 2016, the historical net operating losses of UOL are limited to offset income we generate post-acquisition. As of December 31, 2017, the Company believes that the net operating loss that existed as of the more than 50% ownership shift will be utilized in future tax periods before the loss carryforwards expire and it is more-likely-than-not that future taxable earnings will be sufficient to realize its deferred tax assets and has not provided an allowance. However, to the extent that the Company is unable to utilize such net operating loss, it may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Financial services firms have been subject to increased scrutiny over the last several years, increasing the risk of financial liability and reputational harm resulting from adverse regulatory actions.
Firms in the financial services industry have been operating in a difficult regulatory environment which we expect will become even more stringent in light of recent well-publicized failures of regulators to detect and prevent fraud. The industry has experienced increased scrutiny from a variety of regulators, including the SEC, the NYSE, FINRA and state attorneys general. Penalties and fines sought by regulatory authorities have increased substantially over the last several years. This regulatory and enforcement environment has created uncertainty with respect to a number of transactions that had historically been entered into by financial services firms and that were generally believed to be permissible and appropriate. We may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules by these governmental authorities and self-regulatory organizations. Each of the regulatory bodies with jurisdiction over us has regulatory powers dealing with many aspects of financial services, including, but not limited to, the authority to fine us and to grant, cancel, restrict or otherwise impose conditions on the right to carry on particular businesses. For example, a failure to comply with the obligations imposed by the Exchange Act on broker-dealers and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 on investment advisers, including record-keeping, advertising and operating requirements, disclosure obligations and prohibitions on fraudulent activities, or by the Investment Company Act of 1940, could result in investigations, sanctions and reputational damage. We also may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed by the SEC, other U.S. or foreign governmental regulatory authorities or FINRA or other self-regulatory organizations that supervise the financial markets. Substantial legal liability or significant regulatory action against us could have adverse financial effects on us or cause reputational harm to us, which could harm our business prospects.
In addition, financial services firms are subject to numerous conflicts of interests or perceived conflicts. The SEC and other federal and state regulators have increased their scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest. We have adopted various policies, controls and procedures to address or limit actual or perceived conflicts and regularly review and update our policies, controls and procedures. However, appropriately addressing conflicts of interest is complex and difficult and our reputation could be damaged if we fail, or appear to fail, to appropriately address conflicts of interest. Our policies and procedures to address or limit actual or perceived conflicts may also result in increased costs and additional operational personnel. Failure to adhere to these policies and procedures may result in regulatory sanctions or litigation against us. For example, the research operations of investment banks have been and remain the subject of heightened regulatory scrutiny which has led to increased restrictions on the interaction between equity research analysts and investment banking professionals at securities firms. Several securities firms in the U.S. reached a global settlement in 2003 and 2004 with certain federal and state securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations to resolve investigations into the alleged conflicts of interest of research analysts, which resulted in rules that have imposed additional costs and limitations on the conduct of our business.
Asset management businesses have experienced a number of highly publicized regulatory inquiries which have resulted in increased scrutiny within the industry and new rules and regulations for mutual funds, investment advisors and broker-dealers. We are registered as an investment advisor with the SEC and the regulatory scrutiny and rulemaking initiatives may result in an increase in operational and compliance costs or the assessment of significant fines or penalties against our asset management business, and may otherwise limit our ability to engage in certain activities. In addition, the SEC staff has conducted studies with respect to soft dollar practices in the brokerage and asset management industries and proposed interpretive guidance regarding the scope of permitted brokerage and research services in connection with soft dollar practices. The SEC staff has indicated that it is considering additional rulemaking in this and other areas, and we cannot predict the effect that additional rulemaking may have on our asset management or brokerage business or whether it will be adverse to us. In addition, Congress is currently considering imposing new requirements on entities that securitize assets, which could affect our credit activities. It is impossible to determine the extent of the impact of any new laws, regulations or initiatives that may be proposed, or whether any of the proposals will become law. Compliance with any new laws or regulations could make compliance more difficult and expensive and affect the manner in which we conduct business.
Financial reforms and related regulations may negatively affect our business activities, financial position and profitability.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) instituted a wide range of reforms that have impacted and will continue to impact financial services firms and continues to require significant rule-making. In addition, the legislation mandates multiple studies, which could result in additional legislative or regulatory action. The legislation and regulation of financial institutions, both domestically and internationally, include calls to increase capital and liquidity requirements; limit the size and types of the activities permitted; and increase taxes on some institutions. FINRA’s oversight over broker-dealers and investment advisors may be expanded, and new regulations on having investment banking and securities analyst functions in the same firm may be created. Many of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act remain subject to further rule making procedures and studies and will continue to take effect over several years. As a result, we cannot assess the full impact of all of these legislative and regulatory changes on our business at the present time. However, these legislative and regulatory changes could affect our revenue, limit our ability to pursue business opportunities, impact the value of assets that we hold, require us to change certain of our business practices, impose additional costs on us, or otherwise adversely affect our businesses. If we do not comply with current or future legislation and regulations that apply to our operations, we may be subject to fines, penalties or material restrictions on our businesses in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred. Accordingly, such legislation or regulation could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
Our failure to deal appropriately with conflicts of interest could damage our reputation and adversely affect our business.
As we have expanded the number and scope of our businesses, we increasingly confront potential conflicts of interest relating to our and our funds’ and clients’ investment and other activities. Certain of our funds have overlapping investment objectives, including funds which have different fee structures, and potential conflicts may arise with respect to our decisions regarding how to allocate investment opportunities among ourselves and those funds. For example, a decision to acquire material non-public information about a company while pursuing an investment opportunity for a particular fund gives rise to a potential conflict of interest when it results in our having to restrict the ability of the Company or other funds to take any action.
In addition, there may be conflicts of interest regarding investment decisions for funds in which our officers, directors and employees, who have made and may continue to make significant personal investments in a variety of funds, are personally invested. Similarly, conflicts of interest may exist or develop regarding decisions about the allocation of specific investment opportunities between the Company and the funds.
We also have potential conflicts of interest with our investment banking and institutional clients including situations where our services to a particular client or our own proprietary or fund investments or interests conflict or are perceived to conflict with a client. It is possible that potential or perceived conflicts could give rise to investor or client dissatisfaction or litigation or regulatory enforcement actions. Appropriately dealing with conflicts of interest is complex and difficult and our reputation could be damaged if we fail, or appear to fail, to deal appropriately with one or more potential or actual conflicts of interest. Regulatory scrutiny of, or litigation in connection with, conflicts of interest would have a material adverse effect on our reputation, which would materially adversely affect our business in a number of ways, including as a result of redemptions by our investors from our hedge funds, an inability to raise additional funds and a reluctance of counterparties to do business with us.
Our exposure to legal liability is significant, and could lead to substantial damages.
We face significant legal risks in our businesses. These risks include potential liability under securities laws and regulations in connection with our capital markets, asset management and other businesses. The volume and amount of damages claimed in litigation, arbitrations, regulatory enforcement actions and other adversarial proceedings against financial services firms have increased in recent years. We also are subject to claims from disputes with our employees and our former employees under various circumstances. Risks associated with legal liability often are difficult to assess or quantify and their existence and magnitude can remain unknown for significant periods of time, making the amount of legal reserves related to these legal liabilities difficult to determine and subject to future revision. Legal or regulatory matters involving our directors, officers or employees in their individual capacities also may create exposure for us because we may be obligated or may choose to indemnify the affected individuals against liabilities and expenses they incur in connection with such matters to the extent permitted under applicable law. In addition, like other financial services companies, we may face the possibility of employee fraud or misconduct. The precautions we take to prevent and detect this activity may not be effective in all cases and there can be no assurance that we will be able to deter or prevent fraud or misconduct. Exposures from and expenses incurred related to any of the foregoing actions or proceedings could have a negative impact on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, future results of operations could be adversely affected if reserves relating to these legal liabilities are required to be increased or legal proceedings are resolved in excess of established reserves.
Misconduct by our employees or by the employees of our business partners could harm us and is difficult to detect and prevent.
There have been a number of highly publicized cases involving fraud or other misconduct by employees in the financial services industry in recent years, and we run the risk that employee misconduct could occur at our firm. For example, misconduct could involve the improper use or disclosure of confidential information, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious reputational or financial harm. It is not always possible to deter misconduct and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in all cases. Our ability to detect and prevent misconduct by entities with which we do business may be even more limited. We may suffer reputational harm for any misconduct by our employees or those entities with which we do business.
We may not pay dividends regularly or at all in the future.
From time to time, we may decide to pay dividends which will be dependent upon our financial condition and results of operations. Our Board of Directors may reduce or discontinue dividends at any time for any reason it deems relevant and there can be no assurances that we will continue to generate sufficient cash to pay dividends, or that we will continue to pay dividends with the cash that we do generate. The determination regarding the payment of dividends is subject to the discretion of our Board of Directors, and there can be no assurances that we will continue to generate sufficient cash to pay dividends, or that we will pay dividends in future periods.
Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our customers, clients and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our employees, in our servers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, and regulatory penalties. In addition, such a breach could disrupt our operations and the services we provide to our clients, damage our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence in our services, which could adversely affect our business and our financial condition.
We may enter into new lines of business, make strategic investments or acquisitions or enter into joint ventures, each of which may result in additional risks and uncertainties for our business.
We may enter into new lines of business, make future strategic investments or acquisitions and enter into joint ventures. As we have in the past, and subject to market conditions, we may grow our business by increasing assets under management in existing investment strategies, pursue new investment strategies, which may be similar or complementary to our existing strategies or be wholly new initiatives, or enter into strategic relationships, or joint ventures. In addition, opportunities may arise to acquire or invest in other businesses that are related or unrelated to our current businesses.
To the extent we make strategic investments or acquisitions, enter into strategic relationships or joint ventures or enter into new lines of business, we will face numerous risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with the required investment of capital and other resources and with combining or integrating operational and management systems and controls and managing potential conflicts. Entry into certain lines of business may subject us to new laws and regulations with which we are not familiar, or from which we are currently exempt, and may lead to increased litigation and regulatory risk. There can be no assurance that any new businesses or complimentary business or investment strategies that we pursue will generate the revenues we anticipate or be successful. New or complimentary business strategies may expose us to new risks, including to risks related to our transaction counterparties. For example, to the extent that we provide backstop commitments to offerings or strategic transactions being pursued by third parties, such commitments could require us to make certain payments if the other parties in such transactions fail to do so. While we may seek to syndicate such commitments in order to mitigate risks to us, there can be no assurance that our syndication efforts will be successful or completed on the terms we anticipate. If a new business generates insufficient revenues, or produces investment losses, or if we are unable to efficiently manage our expanded operations, our results of operations will be adversely affected, and our reputation and business may be harmed. In the case of joint ventures, we are subject to additional risks and uncertainties in that we may be dependent upon, and subject to liability, losses or reputational damage relating to, systems, controls and personnel that are not under our control.
Our results of operations after the acquisitions of FBR and Wunderlich may be affected by factors different from those that affected our independent results of our operations.
Our business and the business of each of FBR and Wunderlich differ in certain respects and, accordingly, the results of operations of the combined company and the market price of the combined company’s common shares may be affected by factors different from those that affected our independent results of operations.
The combined company may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of our acquisitions of FBR and Wunderlich.
The success of the acquisitions of FBR and Wunderlich will depend on, among other things, the combined company’s ability to combine the businesses of us, FBR and Wunderlich. If the combined company is not able to successfully achieve this objective, the anticipated benefits of each merger may not be realized fully, or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected.
Prior to the consummation of acquisitions, we and each of FBR and Wunderlich operated independently. It is possible that the integration process or other factors could result in the loss or departure of key employees, the disruption of the ongoing business of us, FBR or Wunderlich, or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies. It is also possible that clients, customers and counterparties of us, FBR or Wunderlich could choose to discontinue their relationships with the combined company because they prefer doing business with an independent company or for any other reason, which would adversely affect the future performance of the combined company. These transition matters could have an adverse effect on us for an undetermined amount of time after the consummation of the acquisitions of FBR and Wunderlich.
We may experience difficulties in realizing the expected benefits of the acquisition of UOL.
Our ability to achieve the benefits we anticipate from the acquisition of UOL will depend in large part upon whether we are able to achieve expected cost savings, manage UOL’s business and execute our strategy in an efficient and effective manner. Because our business and the business of UOL differ, we may not be able to manage UOL’s business smoothly or successfully and the process of achieving expected cost savings may take longer than expected. If we are unable to manage the operations of UOL’s business successfully, we may be unable to realize the cost savings and other anticipated benefits we expect to achieve as a result of the UOL acquisition. As a result, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected and the market price of our common stock could be negatively impacted.
UOL competes against large companies, many of whom have significantly more financial and marketing resources, and our business will suffer if we are unable to compete successfully.
UOL competes with numerous providers of broadband, mobile broadband and DSL services, as well as other dial-up Internet access providers, many of whom are large and have significantly more financial and marketing resources. The principal competitors for UOL’s mobile broadband and DSL services include, among others, local exchange carriers, wireless and satellite service providers, and cable service providers. These competitors include established providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. UOL’s principal dial-up Internet access competitors include established online service and content providers, such as AOL and MSN, and independent national Internet service providers, such as EarthLink and its PeoplePC subsidiary. Dial-up Internet access services do not compete favorably with broadband services with respect to connection speed and do not have a significant, if any, price advantage over certain broadband services. In addition, there are a number of mobile virtual network operators, some of which focus on pricing as their main selling point. Certain portions of the U.S., primarily rural areas, currently have limited or no access to broadband services. However, the U.S. government has indicated its intention to facilitate the provision of broadband services to such areas. Such expansion of the availability of broadband services will increase the competition for Internet access subscribers in such areas and will likely adversely affect the UOL business. In addition to competition from broadband, mobile broadband, and DSL providers, competition among dial-up Internet access service providers is intense and neither UOL’s pricing nor the features of UOL’s services provides us with a significant competitive advantage, if any, over certain of UOL’s dial-up Internet access competitors. We expect that competition, particularly with respect to price, for broadband, mobile broadband, and DSL services, as well as dial-up Internet access services, will continue and may materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Dial-up and DSL pay accounts may decline faster than expected and adversely impact our business.
A significant portion of UOL’s revenues and profits come from dial-up Internet and DSL access services and related services and advertising revenues. UOL’s dial-up and DSL Internet access pay accounts and revenues have been declining and are expected to continue to decline due to the continued maturation of the market for dial-up and DSL Internet access, competitive pressures in the industry and limited sales efforts. Consumers continue to migrate to broadband access, primarily due to the faster connection and download speeds provided by broadband access. Advanced applications such as online gaming, music downloads and videos require greater bandwidth for optimal performance, which adds to the demand for broadband access. The pricing for basic broadband services has been declining as well, making it a more viable option for consumers. In addition, the popularity of accessing the Internet through tablets and mobile devices has been growing and may accelerate the migration of consumers away from dial-up Internet access. The number of dial-up Internet access pay accounts has been adversely impacted by both a decrease in the number of new pay accounts signing up for UOL’s services, as well as the impact of subscribers canceling their accounts, which we refer to as “churn.” Churn has increased from time to time and may increase in the future. If we experience a higher than expected level of churn, it will make it more difficult for us to increase or maintain the number of pay accounts, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
We expect UOL’s dial-up and DSL Internet access pay accounts to continue to decline. As a result, related services revenues and the profitability of this segment may decline. The rate of decline in these revenues may continue to accelerate.
We may not be able to consistently make a high level of expense reductions in the future. Continued declines in revenues relating to the UOL business, particularly if such declines accelerate, will materially and adversely impact the profitability of this business.
Failure to maintain or grow advertising revenues from UOL, including as a result of failing to increase or maintain the number of subscribers for UOL’s services, could have a negative impact on advertising profitability.
Advertising revenues are a key component of revenues and profitability from UOL. UOL’s services currently generate advertising revenues from search placements, display advertisements and online market research associated with Internet access and email services. Factors that have caused, or may cause in the future, UOL’s advertising revenues to fluctuate include, without limitation, changes in the number of visitors to UOL’s websites, active accounts or consumers purchasing our services and products, the effect of, changes to, or terminations of key advertising relationships, changes to UOL’s websites and advertising inventory, changes in applicable laws, regulations or business practices, including those related to behavioral or targeted advertising, user privacy, and taxation, changes in business models, changes in the online advertising market, changes in the economy, advertisers’ budgeting and buying patterns, competition, and changes in usage of UOL’s services. Decreases in UOL’s advertising revenues are likely to adversely impact our profitability. Further, our successful operation and management of UOL, including the ability to generate advertising revenues for UOL’s services, will depend in part upon our ability to increase or maintain the number of subscribers for UOL’s services. A decline in the number of subscribers using UOL’s services could result in decreased advertising revenues, and decreases in advertising revenues would adversely impact our profitability. The failure to increase or maintain the number of subscribers for UOL’s services could have a material adverse effect on advertising revenues and our profitability.
Interruption or failure of the network, information systems or other technologies essential to the UOL business could impair our ability to provide services relating to the UOL business, which could damage our reputation and harm our operating results.
Our successful operation of the UOL business depends on our ability to provide reliable service. Many of UOL’s products are supported by data centers. UOL’s network, data centers, central offices and those of UOL’s third-party service providers are vulnerable to damage or interruption from fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods and other natural disasters, terrorist attacks, power loss, capacity limitations, telecommunications failures, software and hardware defects or malfunctions, break ins, sabotage and vandalism, human error and other disruptions that are beyond our control. Some of the systems serving the UOL business are not fully redundant, and our disaster recovery or business continuity planning may not be adequate. The UOL business could also experience interruptions due to cable damage, theft of equipment, power outages, inclement weather and service failures of third-party service providers. The occurrence of any disruption or system failure or other significant disruption to business continuity may result in a loss of business, increase expenses, damage to reputation for providing reliable service, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny or expose us to litigation and possible financial losses, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows.
We may be accused of infringing upon the intellectual property rights of third parties, which is costly to defend and could limit our ability to use certain technologies in the future.
From time to time third parties have alleged that UOL infringes on their intellectual property rights, including patent rights. We may be unaware of filed patent applications and of issued patents that could be related to the products and services we acquired in the UOL acquisition. These claims are often made by patent holding companies that are not operating companies. The alleging parties generally seek royalty payments for prior use as well as future royalty streams. Defending against disputes, litigation or other legal proceedings, whether or not meritorious, may involve significant expense and diversion of management’s attention and resources from other matters. Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation, we may not prevail in these actions. Both the costs of defending lawsuits and any settlements or judgments against us could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.
If there are events or circumstances affecting the reliability or security of the Internet, access to the websites related to the UOL business and/or the ability to safeguard confidential information could be impaired causing a negative effect on the financial results of our business operations.
Our website infrastructure and the website infrastructure of UOL may be vulnerable to computer viruses, hacking or similar disruptive problems caused by customers, other Internet users, other connected Internet sites, and the interconnecting telecommunications networks. Such problems caused by third-parties could lead to interruptions, delays or cessation of service to the customers of the UOL products and services. Inappropriate use of the Internet by third-parties could also potentially jeopardize the security of confidential information stored in our computer system, which may deter individuals from becoming customers. There can be no assurance that any such measures would not be circumvented in future. Dealing with problems caused by computer viruses or other inappropriate uses or security breaches may require interruptions, delays or cessation of service to customers, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The UOL business processes, stores and uses personal information and other data, which subjects us to governmental regulation and other legal obligations related to privacy, and our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could harm our business.
The UOL business receives, stores and processes personal information and other customer data, and UOL enables customers to share their personal information with each other and with third parties. There are numerous federal, state and local laws around the world regarding privacy and the storing, sharing, use, processing, disclosure and protection of personal information and other customer data, the scope of which are changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent between countries or conflict with other rules. We will generally comply with industry standards and are and will be subject to the terms of privacy policies and privacy-related obligations to third parties. We will strive to comply with all applicable laws, policies, legal obligations and industry codes of conduct relating to privacy and data protection, to the extent possible. However, it is possible that these obligations may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another and may conflict with other rules or UOL’s practices. Any failure or perceived failure to comply with UOL’s privacy policies, privacy-related obligations to customers or other third parties, or privacy-related legal obligations, or any compromise of security that results in the unauthorized release or transfer of personally identifiable information or other customer data, may result in governmental enforcement actions, litigation or public statements against us by consumer advocacy groups or others and could cause customers to lose trust in us, which could have an adverse effect on our business. Additionally, if third parties we work with, such as customers, vendors or developers, violate applicable laws or policies, such violations may also put our customers’ information at risk and could in turn have an adverse effect on our business.
Our marketing efforts for UOL’s business may not be successful or may become more expensive, either of which could increase our costs and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
We rely on relationships for our UOL business with a wide variety of third parties, including Internet search providers such as Google, social networking platforms such as Facebook, Internet advertising networks, co-registration partners, retailers, distributors, television advertising agencies, and direct marketers, to source new members and to promote or distribute our services and products. In addition, in connection with the launch of new services or products for our UOL business, we may spend a significant amount of resources on marketing. With any of our brands, services, and products, if our marketing activities are inefficient or unsuccessful, if important third-party relationships or marketing strategies, such as Internet search engine marketing and search engine optimization, become more expensive or unavailable, or are suspended, modified, or terminated, for any reason, if there is an increase in the proportion of consumers visiting our websites or purchasing our services and products by way of marketing channels with higher marketing costs as compared to channels that have lower or no associated marketing costs, or if our marketing efforts do not result in our services and products being prominently ranked in Internet search listings, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially and adversely impacted.
Our UOL business is dependent on the availability of telecommunications services and compatibility with third-party systems and products.
Our UOL business substantially depends on the availability, capacity, affordability, reliability, and security of our telecommunications networks. Only a limited number of telecommunications providers offer the network and data services we currently require for our UOL business, and we purchase most of our telecommunications services from a few providers. Some of our telecommunications services are provided pursuant to short-term agreements that the providers can terminate or elect not to renew. In addition, some telecommunications providers may cease to offer network services for certain less populated areas, which would reduce the number of providers from which we may purchase services and may entirely eliminate our ability to purchase services for certain areas. Currently, our mobile broadband service of our UOL business is entirely dependent upon services acquired from one service provider, and the devices required by the provider can be used for only such provider's service. If we are unable to maintain, renew or obtain a new agreement with the telecommunications provider on acceptable terms, or the provider discontinues its services, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected. Sprint, which owns Clearwire, ceased using WiMAX technology on the Clearwire network. This affected our mobile broadband subscribers for our UOL business that utilized the Clearwire network.
Our dial-up Internet access services of our UOL business also rely on their compatibility with other third-party systems, products and features, including operating systems. Incompatibility with third-party systems and products could adversely affect our ability to deliver our services or a user's ability to access our services and could also adversely impact the distribution channels for our services. Our dial-up Internet access services are dependent on dial-up modems and an increasing number of computer manufacturers, including certain manufacturers with whom we have distribution relationships, do not pre-load their new computers with dial-up modems, requiring the user to separately acquire a modem to access our services. We cannot assure you that, as the dial-up Internet access market declines and new technologies emerge, we will be able to continue to effectively distribute and deliver our services.
Government regulations could adversely affect our business or force us to change our business practices.
The services that are provided by UOL are subject to varying degrees of international, federal, state and local laws and regulation, including, without limitation, those relating to taxation, bulk email or "spam," advertising (including, without limitation, targeted or behavioral advertising), user privacy and data protection, consumer protection, antitrust, export, and unclaimed property. Compliance with such laws and regulations, which in many instances are unclear or unsettled, is complex. New laws and regulations, such as those being considered or recently enacted by certain states, the federal government, or international authorities related to automatic-renewal practices, spam, user privacy, targeted or behavioral advertising, and taxation, could impact our revenues or certain of our business practices or those of our advertisers.
UOL resells broadband Internet access services offered by other parties pursuant to wholesale agreements with those providers. In an order released in March 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) classified retail broadband Internet access services as telecommunications services subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. That ruling is subject to a pending appeal. The classification of retail broadband Internet access services as telecommunications services means that providers of these services are subject to the general requirement that their charges, practices and classifications for telecommunications services be “just and reasonable,” and that they refrain from engaging in any “unjust or unreasonable discrimination” with respect to their charges, practices or classifications. However, the FCC has not determined what, if any, regulations will apply to wholesale broadband Internet access services, and it is uncertain whether it will adopt requirements that will be favorable or unfavorable to us. It is also possible that the classification of retail broadband Internet access services will be overturned on appeal, that Congress will adopt legislation reversing that decision, or that a future FCC will reverse that decision.
Broadband Internet access is also currently classified as an “information service.” While current policy exempts broadband Internet access services (but not all broadband services) from contributing to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”), Congress and the FCC may consider expanding the USF contribution base to include broadband Internet access services. If broadband Internet access providers become subject to USF contribution obligations, they would likely impose a USF surcharge on end users. Such a surcharge will raise the effective cost of our broadband services to UOL’s customers, which could adversely affect customer satisfaction and have an adverse impact on our revenues and profitability.
Failure to make proper payments for federal USF contributions, FCC regulatory fees or other amounts mandated by federal and state regulations; failure to maintain proper state tariffs and certifications; failure to comply with federal, state or local laws and regulations; failure to obtain and maintain required licenses, franchises and permits; imposition of burdensome license, franchise or permit requirements for us to operate in public rights-of-way; and imposition of new burdensome or adverse regulatory requirements could limit the types of services we provide or the terms on which we provide these services.
We cannot predict the outcome of any ongoing legislative initiatives or administrative or judicial proceedings or their potential impact upon the communications and information technology industries generally or upon the UOL business specifically. Any changes in the laws and regulations applicable to UOL, the enactment of any additional laws or regulations, or the failure to comply with, or increased enforcement activity by regulators of, such laws and regulations, could significantly impact our services and products, our costs, or the manner in which we or our advertisers conduct business, all of which could adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows and cause our business to suffer.
The FCC and some states require us to obtain prior approval of certain major merger and acquisition transactions, such as the acquisition of control of another telecommunications carrier. Delays in obtaining such approvals could affect our ability to close proposed transactions in a timely manner, and could increase our costs and increase the risk of non-consummation of some transactions.
We manage debt investments that involve significant risks and potential additional liabilities.
GACP I, L.P. and GACP II, L.P., direct lending funds of which our wholly owned subsidiary GACP is the general partner, may invest in secured debt issued by companies that have or may incur additional debt that is senior to the secured debt owned by the fund. In the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of any such company, the owners of senior secured debt (i.e., the owners of first priority liens) generally will be entitled to receive proceeds from any realization of the secured collateral until they have been reimbursed. At such time, the owners of junior secured debt (including, in certain circumstances, the fund) will be entitled to receive proceeds from the realization of the collateral securing such debt. There can be no assurances that the proceeds, if any, from the sale of such collateral would be sufficient to satisfy the loan obligations secured by subordinate debt instruments. To the extent that the fund owns secured debt that is junior to other secured debt, the fund may lose the value of its entire investment in such secured debt.
In addition, the fund may invest in loans that are secured by a second lien on assets. Second lien loans have been a developed market for a relatively short period of time, and there is limited historical data on the performance of second lien loans in adverse economic circumstances. In addition, second lien loan products are subject to intercreditor arrangements with the holders of first lien indebtedness, pursuant to which the second lien holders have waived many of the rights of a secured creditor, and some rights of unsecured creditors, including rights in bankruptcy, which can materially affect recoveries. While there is broad market acceptance of some second lien intercreditor terms, no clear market standard has developed for certain other material intercreditor terms for second lien loan products. This variation in key intercreditor terms may result in dissimilar recoveries across otherwise similarly situated second lien loans in insolvency or distressed situations. While uncertainty of recovery in an insolvency or distressed situation is inherent in all debt instruments, second lien loan products carry more risks than certain other debt products.
Our level of indebtedness, and restrictions under such indebtedness, could adversely affect our operations and liquidity.
In November 2016 we completed an offering of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 with an aggregate principal amount of $28.8 million. In May 2017, we completed an offering of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 with an aggregate principal amount of $60.4 million. In June 2017, we entered into an At Market Issuance Sales Agreement with B. Riley FBR to sell additional 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021, under which agreement we sold $32.1 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and $6.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 as of December 31, 2017. In December 2017, we completed an offering of 7.25% Senior Notes due 2027 with an aggregate principal amount of $80.5 million. On December 18, 2017, we entered into an At Market Issuance Sales Agreement with B. Riley FBR to sell additional 7.25% Senior Notes due 2027, 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021, under which agreement we sold $5.4 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.25% Senior Notes due 2027, $1.4 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and $0.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 as of March 31, 2018. The terms of such indebtedness contain various restrictions and covenants regarding the operation of our business, including, but not limited to, restrictions on our ability to merge or consolidate with or into any other entity. In April 2017, we entered into a credit agreement with the Banc of California that provides for a revolving credit facility under which UOL may borrow (or request the issuance of letters of credit) up to $20 million. In April 2018, Wells Fargo consented to increase our retail liquidation line of credit from $200 million to $300 million (the “Wells Fargo Credit Agreement”). In April 2018, we also borrowed $51 million from GACP II, L.P., a direct lending fund of which our wholly owned subsidiary GACP is the general partner, to partially finance the Bon-Ton Transactions. We may also secure additional debt financing in the future in addition to our current debt. Our level of indebtedness generally could adversely affect our operations and liquidity, by, among other things: (i) making it more difficult for us to pay or refinance our debts as they become due during adverse economic and industry conditions because we may not have sufficient cash flows to make our scheduled debt payments; (ii) causing us to use a larger portion of our cash flows to fund interest and principal payments, thereby reducing the availability of cash to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other business activities; (iii) making it more difficult for us to take advantage of significant business opportunities, such as acquisition opportunities or other strategic transactions, and to react to changes in market or industry conditions; and (iv) limiting our ability to borrow additional monies in the future to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes as and when needed, which could force us to suspend, delay or curtail business prospects, strategies or operations. We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow to pay the interest on our debt, and future working capital, borrowings or equity financing may not be available to pay or refinance such debt. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow to pay the interest on our debt, we may have to delay or curtail our operations. If we are unable to service our indebtedness, we will be forced to adopt an alternative strategy that may include actions such as reducing capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our indebtedness or seeking additional equity capital. These alternative strategies may not be affected on satisfactory terms, if at all, and they may not yield sufficient funds to make required payments on our indebtedness. If, for any reason, we are unable to meet our debt service and repayment obligations, we would be in default under the terms of the agreements governing our debt, which could allow our creditors at that time to declare certain outstanding indebtedness to be due and payable or exercise other available remedies, which may in turn trigger cross acceleration or cross default rights in other agreements. If that should occur, we may not be able to pay all such debt or to borrow sufficient funds to refinance it. Even if new financing were then available, it may not be on terms that are acceptable to us.
Risks Related to the Acquisition of magicJack
Our results of operations after the acquisition of magicJack may be affected by factors different from those currently affecting the results of our operations.
Our business and the business of magicJack differ in certain respects and, accordingly, the results of operations of the combined company and the market price of the combined company’s common shares may be affected by factors different from those currently affecting our independent results of operations.
Regulatory approvals may not be received, may take longer than expected or may impose conditions that are not presently anticipated or cannot be met.
Before the transactions contemplated by the Agreement and Plan of Merger with magicJack, including the magicJack Merger, may be completed, various approvals must be obtained from governmental authorities, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. These authorities may impose conditions on the granting of such approvals. Such conditions or changes and the process of obtaining regulatory approvals could have the effect of delaying completion of the magicJack Merger or of imposing additional costs or limitations on the combined company following the magicJack Merger. The regulatory approvals may not be received at all, may not be received in a timely fashion, and may contain conditions on the completion of the magicJack Merger that are not anticipated or cannot be met. If the consummation of the magicJack Merger is delayed, including by a delay in receipt of necessary governmental approvals, the business, financial condition and results of operations of each company may also be materially adversely affected.
The magicJack Merger is subject to certain closing conditions that, if not satisfied or waived, will result in such magicJack Merger not being completed, which may cause the prices of our common shares to decline.
The magicJack Merger is subject to customary conditions to closing, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals and approval of each party’s shareholders of certain merger-related proposals. If any condition to the magicJack Merger is not satisfied or waived, to the extent permitted by law, such merger will not be completed. In addition, magicJack may terminate the Agreement and Plan of Merger under certain circumstances even if such agreement is approved by its shareholders. If we and magicJack do not complete the magicJack Merger, the trading price of our common shares may decline. In addition, we would not realize any of the expected benefits of having completed such merger. If the magicJack Merger is not completed, additional risks could materialize, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results.
We and magicJack will be subject to business uncertainties and contractual restrictions while the magicJack Merger is pending.
Uncertainty about the effect of the magicJack Merger on employees, customers and vendors may have an adverse influence on the business, financial condition and results of operations of magicJack and us. These uncertainties may impair magicJack’s or our ability to attract, retain and motivate key personnel pending the consummation of the magicJack Merger, as such personnel may experience uncertainty about their future roles following the consummation of such merger. Additionally, these uncertainties could cause self-regulatory organizations, customers, clearing brokers, suppliers, vendors and others who deal with magicJack or us to seek to change existing business relationships with magicJack, us or the combined company or fail to extend an existing relationship with magicJack, us or the combined company.
In addition, the Agreement and Plan of Merger restricts magicJack and us, as applicable, from taking certain actions without the other party’s consent while such merger is pending. These restrictions could have a material adverse effect on magicJack’s or our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The combined company may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of the magicJack Merger.
The success of the magicJack Merger will depend on, among other things, the combined company’s ability to combine the businesses of us and magicJack. If the combined company is not able to successfully achieve this objective, the anticipated benefits of the magicJack Merger may not be realized fully, or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected.
We and magicJack have operated and, until the consummation of the magicJack Merger, will continue to operate independently. It is possible that the integration process or other factors could result in the loss or departure of key employees, the disruption of our or magicJack’s ongoing business, or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies. It is also possible that clients, customers and counterparties of us or magicJack could choose to discontinue their relationships with the combined company because they prefer doing business with an independent company or for any other reason, which would adversely affect the future performance of the combined company. These transition matters could have an adverse effect on each of us and magicJack during the pre-merger period and for an undetermined amount of time after the consummation of the magicJack Merger.
Risks Related to this Offering
We may be able to incur substantially more debt, which could have important consequences to you.
We may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future. The terms of the indenture governing the Notes will not prohibit us from doing so. If we incur any additional indebtedness that ranks equally with the Notes, the holders of that debt will be entitled to share ratably with you in any proceeds distributed in connection with any insolvency, liquidation, reorganization or dissolution. This may have the effect of reducing the amount of proceeds paid to you. Incurrence of additional debt would also further reduce the cash available to invest in operations, as a result of increased debt service obligations. If new debt is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.
In November 2016 we completed an offering of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 with an aggregate principal amount of $28.8 million. In May 2017, we completed an offering of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 with an aggregate principal amount of $60.4 million. In June 2017, we entered into an At Market Issuance Sales Agreement with B. Riley FBR to sell additional 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021, under which agreement we sold $32.1 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and $6.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 as of December 31, 2017. In December 2017, we completed an offering of 7.25% Senior Notes due 2027 with an aggregate principal amount of $80.5 million. On December 18, 2017, we entered into an At Market Issuance Sales Agreement with B. Riley FBR to sell additional 7.25% Senior Notes due 2027, 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021, under which agreement we sold $5.4 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.25% Senior Notes due 2027, $1.4 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027 and $0.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 as of March 31, 2018. After giving effect to the issuance of the Notes offered hereby, our total indebtedness would have been approximately $ million as of March 31, 2018 (and approximately $ million assuming the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional Notes). See “Capitalization.”
Our level of indebtedness could have important consequences to you, because:
|●||it could affect our ability to satisfy our financial obligations, including those relating to the Notes;|
|●||a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations would have to be dedicated to interest and principal payments and may not be available for operations, capital expenditures, expansion, acquisitions or general corporate or other purposes;|
|●||it may impair our ability to obtain additional debt or equity financing in the future;|
|●||it may limit our ability to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness on or before maturity;|
|●||it may limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry; and|
|●||it may make us more vulnerable to downturns in our business, our industry or the economy in general.|
Our operations may not generate sufficient cash to enable us to service our debt. If we fail to make a payment on the Notes, we could be in default on the Notes, and this default could cause us to be in default on other indebtedness, to the extent outstanding. Conversely, a default under any other indebtedness, if not waived, could result in acceleration of the debt outstanding under the related agreement and entitle the holders thereof to bring suit for the enforcement thereof or exercise other remedies provided thereunder. In addition, such default or acceleration may result in an event of default and acceleration of other indebtedness of the Company, entitling the holders thereof to bring suit for the enforcement thereof or exercise other remedies provided thereunder. If a judgment is obtained by any such holders, such holders could seek to collect on such judgment from the assets of the Company. If that should occur, we may not be able to pay all such debt or to borrow sufficient funds to refinance it. Even if new financing were then available, it may not be on terms that are acceptable to us.
However, no event of default under the Notes would result from a default or acceleration of, or suit, other exercise of remedies or collection proceeding by holders of, our other outstanding debt, if any. As a result, all or substantially all of our assets may be used to satisfy claims of holders of our other outstanding debt, if any, without the holders of the Notes having any rights to such assets. The indenture governing the Notes will not restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness.
The Notes will be unsecured and therefore will be effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness that we currently have or that we may incur in the future.
The Notes will not be secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries. As a result, the Notes will be effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness that we or our subsidiaries have currently outstanding or may incur in the future (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. The indenture governing the Notes does not prohibit us or our subsidiaries from incurring additional secured (or unsecured) indebtedness in the future. In any liquidation, dissolution, bankruptcy or other similar proceeding, the holders of any of our existing or future secured indebtedness and the secured indebtedness of our subsidiaries may assert rights against the assets pledged to secure that indebtedness and may consequently receive payment from these assets before they may be used to pay other creditors, including the holders of the Notes.
The Notes will be structurally subordinated to the indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries.
The Notes are obligations exclusively of B. Riley and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries is a guarantor of the Notes, and the Notes are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. Therefore, in any bankruptcy, liquidation or similar proceeding, all claims of creditors (including trade creditors) of our subsidiaries will have priority over our equity interests in such subsidiaries (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes) with respect to the assets of such subsidiaries. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of our subsidiaries, our claims would still be effectively subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such subsidiary and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such subsidiary senior to our claims. Consequently, the Notes will be structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities (including trade payables) of any of our subsidiaries and any subsidiaries that we may in the future acquire or establish as financing vehicles or otherwise. The indenture governing the Notes does not prohibit us or our subsidiaries from incurring additional indebtedness in the future. In addition, future debt and security agreements entered into by our subsidiaries may contain various restrictions, including restrictions on payments by our subsidiaries to us and the transfer by our subsidiaries of assets pledged as collateral.
The indenture under which the Notes will be issued contains limited protection for holders of the Notes.
The indenture under which the Notes will be issued offers limited protection to holders of the Notes. The terms of the indenture and the Notes do not restrict our or any of our subsidiaries’ ability to engage in, or otherwise be a party to, a variety of corporate transactions, circumstances or events that could have an adverse impact on your investment in the Notes. In particular, the terms of the indenture and the Notes will not place any restrictions on our or our subsidiaries’ ability to:
|●||issue debt securities or otherwise incur additional indebtedness or other obligations, including (1) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be equal in right of payment to the Notes, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the Notes to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) indebtedness of ours that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries and which therefore is structurally senior to the Notes and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore rank structurally senior to the Notes with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries;|
|●||pay dividends on, or purchase or redeem or make any payments in respect of, capital stock or other securities subordinated in right of payment to the Notes;|
|●||sell assets (other than certain limited restrictions on our ability to consolidate, merge or sell all or substantially all of our assets);|
|●||enter into transactions with affiliates;|
|●||create liens (including liens on the shares of our subsidiaries) or enter into sale and leaseback transactions;|
|●||make investments; or|
|●||create restrictions on the payment of dividends or other amounts to us from our subsidiaries.|
In addition, the indenture does not include any protection against certain events, such as a change of control, a leveraged recapitalization or “going private” transaction (which may result in a significant increase of our indebtedness levels), restructuring or similar transactions. Furthermore, the terms of the indenture and the Notes do not protect holders of the Notes in the event that we experience changes (including significant adverse changes) in our financial condition, results of operations or credit ratings, as they do not require that we or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow, or liquidity. Also, an event of default or acceleration under our other indebtedness would not necessarily result in an Event of Default under the Notes.
Our ability to recapitalize, incur additional debt and take a number of other actions that are not limited by the terms of the Notes may have important consequences for you as a holder of the Notes, including making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to the Notes or negatively affecting the trading value of the Notes.
Other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indenture and the Notes, including additional covenants and events of default. The issuance or incurrence of any such debt with incremental protections could affect the market for and trading levels and prices of the Notes.
An increase in market interest rates could result in a decrease in the value of the Notes.
In general, as market interest rates rise, notes bearing interest at a fixed rate decline in value. Consequently, if you purchase the Notes, and the market interest rates subsequently increase, the market value of your Notes may decline. We cannot predict the future level of market interest rates.
An active trading market for the Notes may not develop, which could limit the market price of the Notes or your ability to sell them.
The Notes are a new issue of debt securities for which there currently is no trading market. We intend to apply to list the Notes on Nasdaq within 30 business days of the original issue date under the symbol “RILYH”. We cannot provide any assurances that an active trading market will develop for the Notes or that you will be able to sell your Notes. If the Notes are traded after their initial issuance, they may trade at a discount from their initial offering price depending on prevailing interest rates, the market for similar securities, our credit ratings, general economic conditions, our financial condition, performance and prospects and other factors. The underwriters have advised us that they may make a market in the Notes, but they are not obligated to do so. The underwriters may discontinue any market-making in the Notes at any time at their sole discretion. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that a liquid trading market will develop for the Notes, that you will be able to sell your Notes at a particular time or that the price you receive when you sell will be favorable. To the extent an active trading market does not develop, the liquidity and trading price for the Notes may be harmed. Accordingly, you may be required to bear the financial risk of an investment in the Notes for an indefinite period of time.
In addition, there may be a limited number of buyers when you decide to sell your Notes. This may affect the price, if any, offered for your Notes or your ability to sell your Notes when desired or at all.
We may issue additional Notes.
Under the terms of the indenture governing the Notes, we may from time to time without notice to, or the consent of, the holders of the Notes, create and issue additional notes which will be equal in rank to the Notes.
The rating for the Notes could at any time be revised downward or withdrawn entirely at the discretion of the issuing rating agency.
We have obtained a rating for the Notes. Ratings only reflect the views of the issuing rating agency or agencies and such ratings could at any time be revised downward or withdrawn entirely at the discretion of the issuing rating agency. A rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold the Notes. Ratings do not reflect market prices or suitability of a security for a particular investor and the rating of the Notes may not reflect all risks related to us and our business, or the structure or market value of the Notes. We may elect to issue other securities for which we may seek to obtain a rating in the future. If we issue other securities with a rating, such ratings, if they are lower than market expectations or are subsequently lowered or withdrawn, could adversely affect the market for or the market value of the Notes.
Assuming we sell an aggregate principal amount of $50,000,000 of Notes in this offering, we estimate that the net proceeds we will receive from the sale of Notes in this offering will be approximately $ million after deducting underwriting commissions of approximately $ million, and estimated offering expenses of approximately $ payable by us.
If the acquisition of magicJack is consummated, we intend to use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering to fund a portion of the acquisition. We expect to use the remaining net proceeds of this offering, if any, for general corporate purposes. See “Prospectus Supplement Summary—Recent Developments” for information regarding the acquisition of magicJack. There is no assurance that the acquisition of magicJack will occur on or before a certain time, or at all. The closing of this offering is not conditioned on the consummation of the magicJack acquisition.
The following table sets forth the consolidated ratios of earnings to fixed charges for us, respectively, for the periods shown (in thousands):
|Three Months Ended|
|March 31,||Year Ended December 31,|
|Ratio of earnings to fixed charges||2.30||x||13.86||x||3.39||x||18.96||x||24.37||x||(5.88||)x||1.66||x|
The following table shows our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of March 31, 2018:
|●||on an actual basis; and|
|●||on a pro forma adjusted basis, after giving effect to (i) the completion of the magicJack Merger and (ii) the sale of Notes in this offering and the receipt of the total net proceeds of approximately $ million from this offering but prior to the application thereof, after deducting underwriting commissions and estimated offering expenses (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional Notes).|
|As of March 31, 2018|
|(dollars in thousands)|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||74,339||$|
|Accrued purchase price consideration||-||20,426|
|Accrued expenses and other liabilities||57,746||80,634|
|Deferred revenue and contract liabilities||3,519||51,754|
|Due to related parties and partners||2,378||2,378|
|Securities sold not yet purchased||19,736||19,736|
|Mandatorily redeemable noncontrolling interests||4,536||4,536|
|Senior notes payable||210,960||210,960|
|Notes offered hereby||-|
|B. Riley stockholders’ equity:|
|Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value, 1,000,000 shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding||-|
|Common stock, $0.0001 par value, 40,000,000 shares authorized, 26,677,422 shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2018||2||2|
|Additional paid-in capital||261,413||261,413|
|Accumulated other comprehensive loss||(754||)||(754||)|
|Total B. Riley stockholders’ equity||271,543||262,041|
|(1)||The pro forma as adjusted financial information relating to B. Riley is for its quarter ended March 31, 2018 and reflects the completion of the magicJack Merger under the assumptions described under “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Information” provided in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on May 11, 2018, which is incorporated by reference herein. The pro forma as adjusted financial information does not reflect any other changes subsequent to March 31, 2018, and it specifically excludes (i) approximately $14 million of incremental sales of senior notes under our at the market sale program and (ii) short term borrowings of $300 million under our asset based credit facility with Wells Fargo and $51 million from GACP II, L.P. that are used to fund retail liquidation engagements.|
The % Senior Notes due 2023 (the “Notes”) are being issued under an Indenture dated as of November 2, 2016, as supplemented by the First Supplemental Indenture dated November 2, 2016, the Second Supplemental Indenture dated as of May 31, 2017, the Third Supplemental Indenture dated as of December 13 , 2017, and the Fourth Supplemental Indenture dated as of ,2018, which we refer to collectively as the “indenture,” between the Company and U.S. Bank National Association, trustee. Set forth below is a description of the specific terms of the Notes and the indenture. This description supplements (and to the extent inconsistent with, replaces) the description of the general terms and provisions of our debt securities set forth in the accompanying prospectus under the caption “Description of Debt Securities.” The following description does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, the indenture filed as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by the Company.
|●||will be our general unsecured, senior obligations;|
|●||will be initially limited to an aggregate principal amount of $50,000,000 (assuming no exercise of the over-allotment option described herein);|
|●||will mature on May 31, 2023 unless earlier redeemed or repurchased, and 100% of the aggregate principal amount will be paid at maturity;|
|●||will bear cash interest from , 2018 at an annual rate of %, payable quarterly in arrears on January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 of each year, beginning on July 31, 2018;|
|●||will be redeemable at our option, in whole or in part, at any time on and after May 31, 2020, at the prices and on the terms described under “— Optional Redemption” below;|
|●||will be issued in denominations of $25 and integral multiples of $25 in excess thereof;|
|●||will not have a sinking fund;|
|●||are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “RILYH”; and|
|●||will be represented by one or more registered Notes in global form, but in certain limited circumstances may be represented by Notes in definitive form.|
The indenture does not limit the amount of indebtedness that we or our subsidiaries may issue. The indenture does not contain any financial covenants and does not restrict us from paying dividends or issuing or repurchasing our other securities. Other than restrictions described under “—Covenants—Merger, Consolidation or Sale of Assets” below, the indenture does not contain any covenants or other provisions designed to afford holders of the Notes protection in the event of a highly leveraged transaction involving us or in the event of a decline in our credit rating as the result of a takeover, recapitalization, highly leveraged transaction or similar restructuring involving us that could adversely affect such holders.
We may from time to time, without the consent of the existing holders, issue additional Notes having the same terms as to status, redemption or otherwise (except the price to public, the issue date and, if applicable, the initial interest payment date) that may constitute a single fungible series with the Notes offered by this prospectus supplement; provided that if any such additional Notes are not fungible with the Notes initially offered hereby for U.S. federal income tax purposes, such additional Notes will have one or more separate CUSIP numbers.
The Notes are senior unsecured obligations of the Company, and, upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, will rank (i) senior to the outstanding shares of our common stock, (ii) senior to any of our future subordinated debt, (iii) pari passu (or equally) with our future unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness, (iv) effectively subordinated to any existing or future secured indebtedness (including indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security), to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness and (v) structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness of our subsidiaries, financing vehicles or similar facilities.
Any borrowings under the Wells Fargo Credit Agreement are secured by the proceeds we receive for services rendered in connection with liquidation service contracts pursuant to which any outstanding loan or letters of credit are issued and the assets that are sold at liquidation related to such contracts and will be effectively senior to the Notes to the extent of the value of such proceeds and assets. As of March 31, 2018, there was $8.29 million of letters of credit outstanding under the Wells Fargo Credit Agreement.
Interest on the Notes will accrue at an annual rate equal to % from and including , 2018 to, but excluding, the maturity date or earlier acceleration or redemption and will be payable quarterly in arrears on January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 of each year, beginning on July 31, 2018, to the record holders at the close of business on the immediately preceding January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15, as applicable (whether or not a business day).
The initial interest period for the Notes will be the period from and including , 2018, to, but excluding, July 31, 2018, and subsequent interest periods will be the periods from and including an interest payment date to, but excluding, the next interest payment date or the stated maturity date, as the case may be. The amount of interest payable for any interest period, including interest payable for any partial interest period, will be computed on the basis of a 360-day year comprised of twelve 30-day months. If an interest payment date falls on a non-business day, the applicable interest payment will be made on the next business day and no additional interest will accrue as a result of such delayed payment.
“Business day” means, for any place where the principal and interest on the Notes is payable, each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday which is not a day in which banking institutions in New York are authorized or obligated by law or executive order to close.
The Notes may be redeemed for cash in whole or in part at any time at our option (i) on or after May 31, 2020 and prior to May 31, 2021, at a price equal to $25.50 per note, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the date of redemption, (ii) on or after May 31, 2021 and prior to May 31, 2022, at a price equal to $25.25 per note, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the date of redemption, and (iii) on or after May 31, 2022 and prior to maturity, at a price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the date of redemption. In each case, redemption shall be upon notice not fewer than 30 days and not more than 60 days prior to the date fixed for redemption.
If less than all of the Notes are to be redeemed, the particular Notes to be redeemed will be selected not more than 45 days prior to the redemption date by the trustee from the outstanding Notes not previously called for redemption, by lot, or in the trustee’s discretion, on a pro-rata basis, provided that the unredeemed portion of the principal amount of any Notes will be in an authorized denomination (which will not be less than the minimum authorized denomination) for such Notes. The trustee will promptly notify us in writing of the Notes selected for redemption and, in the case of any Notes selected for partial redemption, the principal amount thereof to be redeemed.
Unless we default on the payment of the redemption price, on and after the date of redemption, interest will cease to accrue on the Notes called for redemption.
Events of Default
Holders of our Notes will have rights if an Event of Default occurs in respect of the Notes and is not cured, as described later in this subsection. The term “Event of Default” in respect of the Notes means any of the following:
|●||we do not pay interest on any Note when due, and such default is not cured within 30 days;|
|●||we do not pay the principal of the Notes when due and payable;|
|●||we breach any covenant or warranty in the indenture with respect to the Notes and such breach continues for 60 days after we receive a written notice of such breach from the trustee or the holders of at least 25% of the principal amount of the Notes; and|
|●||certain specified events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur and remain undischarged or unstayed for a period of 90 days.|
The trustee may withhold notice to the holders of the Notes of any default, except in the payment of principal or interest, if the trustee in good faith determines the withholding of notice to be in the interest of the holders of the Notes.
Each year, we will furnish to the trustee a written statement of certain of our officers certifying that to their knowledge we are in compliance with the indenture and the Notes, or else specifying any default.
Remedies if an Event of Default Occurs
If an Event of Default has occurred and is continuing, the trustee or the holders of not less than 25% of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes may declare the entire principal amount of the Notes, together with accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to be due and payable immediately by a notice in writing to us and, if notice is given by the holders of the Notes, the trustee. This is called an “acceleration of maturity.” If the Event of Default occurs in relation to our filing for bankruptcy or certain other events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur, the principal amount of the Notes, together with accrued and unpaid interest, if any, will automatically, and without any declaration or other action on the part of the trustee or the holders, become immediately due and payable.
At any time after a declaration of acceleration of the Notes has been made by the trustee or the holders of the Notes and before any judgment or decree for payment of money due has been obtained by the trustee, the holders of a majority of the outstanding principal of the Notes, by written notice to us and the trustee, may rescind and annul such declaration and its consequences if (i) we have paid or deposited with the trustee all amounts due and owed with respect to the Notes (other than principal that has become due solely by reason of such acceleration) and certain other amounts, and (ii) any other Events of Default have been cured or waived.
At our election, the sole remedy with respect to an Event of Default due to our failure to comply with certain reporting requirements under the Trust Indenture Act or under “—Covenants—Reporting” below, for the first 180 calendar days after the occurrence of such Event of Default, consists exclusively of the right to receive additional interest on the Notes at an annual rate equal to (1) 0.25% for the first 90 calendar days after such default and (2) 0.50% for calendar days 91 through 180 after such default. On the 181st day after such Event of Default, if such violation is not cured or waived, the trustee or the holders of not less than 25% of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes may declare the principal, together with accrued and unpaid interest, if any, on the Notes to be due and payable immediately. If we choose to pay such additional interest, we must notify the trustee and the holders of the Notes by certificate of our election at any time on or before the close of business on the first business day following the Event of Default.
Before a holder of the Notes is allowed to bypass the trustee and bring a lawsuit or other formal legal action or take other steps to enforce such holder’s rights relating to the Notes, the following must occur:
|●||such holder must give the trustee written notice that the Event of Default has occurred and remains uncured;|
|●||the holders of at least 25% of the outstanding principal of the Notes must have made a written request to the trustee to institute proceedings in respect of such Event of Default in its own name as trustee;|
|●||such holder or holders must have offered to the trustee indemnity satisfactory to the trustee against the costs, expenses and liabilities to be incurred in compliance with such request;|
|●||the trustee for 60 days after its receipt of such notice, request and offer of indemnity has failed to institute any such proceeding; and|
|●||no direction inconsistent with such written request has been given to the trustee during such 60-day period by holders of a majority of the outstanding principal of the Notes.|
No delay or omission in exercising any right or remedy will be treated as a waiver of that right, remedy or Event of Default
Book-entry and other indirect holders of the Notes should consult their banks or brokers for information on how to give notice or direction to or make a request of the trustee and how to declare or cancel an acceleration of maturity.
Waiver of Defaults
The holders of not less than a majority of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes may on behalf of the holders of all Notes waive any past default with respect to the Notes other than (i) a default in the payment of principal or interest on the Notes when such payments are due and payable (other than by acceleration as described above), or (ii) in respect of a covenant that cannot be modified or amended without the consent of each holder of Notes.
In addition to any other covenants described in the accompanying prospectus, as well as standard covenants relating to payment of principal and interest, maintaining an office where payments may be made or securities can be surrendered for payment, payment of taxes by us and related matters, the following covenants will apply to the Notes. To the extent of any conflict or inconsistency between the base indenture and the following covenants, the following covenants will govern.
Merger, Consolidation or Sale of Assets
The indenture provides that we will not merge or consolidate with or into any other person (other than a merger of a wholly owned subsidiary into us), or sell, transfer, lease, convey or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all our property in any one transaction or series of related transactions unless:
|●||we are the surviving entity or the entity (if other than us) formed by such merger or consolidation or to which such sale, transfer, lease, conveyance or disposition is made will be a corporation or limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the United States of America, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;|
|●||the surviving entity (if other than us) expressly assumes, by supplemental indenture in form reasonably satisfactory to the trustee, executed and delivered to the trustee by such surviving entity, the due and punctual payment of the principal of, and premium, if any, and interest on, all the Notes outstanding, and the due and punctual performance and observance of all the covenants and conditions of the indenture to be performed by us;|
|●||immediately before and immediately after giving effect to such transaction or series of related transactions, no default or Event of Default has occurred and is continuing; and|
|●||in the case of a merger where the surviving entity is other than us, we or such surviving entity will deliver, or cause to be delivered, to the trustee, an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel, each stating that such transaction and the supplemental indenture, if any, in respect thereto, comply with this covenant and that all conditions precedent in the indenture relating to such transaction have been complied with.|
If, at any time, we are not subject to the reporting requirements of Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act to file any periodic reports with the SEC, we agree to furnish to holders of the Notes and the trustee, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, our audited annual consolidated financial statements, within 90 days of our fiscal year end, and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, within 45 days of our fiscal quarter end (other than our fourth fiscal quarter). All such financial statements will be prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with GAAP, as applicable.
Modification or Waiver
There are three types of changes we can make to the indenture and the Notes:
Changes Not Requiring Approval
First, there are changes that we can make to the Notes without the specific approval of the holders of the Notes. This type is limited to clarifications and certain other changes that would not adversely affect holders of the Notes in any material respect and include changes:
|●||to evidence the succession of another corporation, and the assumption by the successor corporation of our covenants, agreements and obligations under the indenture and the Notes;|
|●||to add to our covenants such new covenants, restrictions, conditions or provisions for the protection of the holders of the Notes, and to make the occurrence, or the occurrence and continuance, of a default in any of such additional covenants, restrictions, conditions or provisions an Event of Default;|
|●||to modify, eliminate or add to any of the provisions of the indenture to such extent as necessary to effect the qualification of the indenture under the Trust Indenture Act, and to add to the indenture such other provisions as may be expressly permitted by the trust indenture act, excluding however, the provisions referred to in Section 316(a)(2) of the Trust Indenture Act;|
|●||to cure any ambiguity or to correct or supplement any provision contained in the indenture or in any supplemental indenture which may be defective or inconsistent with other provisions;|
|●||to secure the Notes;|
|●||to evidence and provide for the acceptance and appointment of a successor trustee and to add or change any provisions of the indenture as necessary to provide for or facilitate the administration of the trust by more than one trustee; and|
|●||to make provisions in regard to matters or questions arising under the indenture, so long such other provisions to do not materially affect the interest of any other holder of the Notes.|
Changes Requiring Approval of Each Holder
We cannot make certain changes to the Notes without the specific approval of each holder of the Notes. The following is a list of those types of changes:
|●||changing the stated maturity of the principal of, or any installment of interest on, any Note;|
|●||reducing the principal amount or rate of interest of any Note;|
|●||changing the place of payment where any Note or any interest is payable;|
|●||impairing the right to institute suit for the enforcement of any payment on or after the date on which it is due and payable;|
|●||reducing the percentage in principal amount of holders of the Notes whose consent is needed to modify or amend the indenture; and|
|●||reducing the percentage in principal amount of holders of the Notes whose consent is needed to waive compliance with certain provisions of the indenture or to waive certain defaults.|
Changes Requiring Majority Approval
Any other change to the indenture and the Notes would require the following approval:
|●||if the change only affects the Notes, it must be approved by holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Notes; and|
|●||if the change affects more than one series of debt securities issued under the indenture, it must be approved by the holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of each of the series of debt securities affected by the change.|
Consent from holders to any change to the indenture or the Notes must be given in writing.
Further Details Concerning Voting
|●||Notes cancelled by the trustee or delivered to the trustee for cancellation;|
|●||Notes for which we have deposited with the trustee or paying agent or set aside in trust money for their payment or redemption and, if money has been set aside for the redemption of the Notes, notice of such redemption has been duly given pursuant to the indenture to the satisfaction of the trustee;|
|●||Notes held by the Company, its subsidiaries or any other entity which is an obligor under the Notes, unless such Notes have been pledged in good faith and the pledgee is not the Company, an affiliate of the Company or an obligor under the Notes;|
|●||Notes for which have undergone full defeasance, as described below; and|
|●||Notes which have been paid or exchanged for other Notes due to such Notes loss, destruction or mutilation, with the exception of any such Notes held by bona fide purchasers who have presented proof to the trustee that such Notes are valid obligations of the Company.|
We will generally be entitled to set any day as a record date for the purpose of determining the holders of the Notes that are entitled to vote or take other action under the indenture, and the trustee will generally be entitled to set any day as a record date for the purpose of determining the holders of the Notes that are entitled to join in the giving or making of any Notice of Default, any declaration of acceleration of maturity of the Notes, any request to institute proceedings or the reversal of such declaration. If we or the trustee set a record date for a vote or other action to be taken by the holders of the Notes, that vote or action can only be taken by persons who are holders of the Notes on the record date and, unless otherwise specified, such vote or action must take place on or prior to the 180th day after the record date. We may change the record date at our option, and we will provide written notice to the trustee and to each holder of the Notes of any such change of record date.
The following defeasance provisions will be applicable to the Notes. “Defeasance” means that, by irrevocably depositing with the trustee an amount of cash denominated in U.S. dollars and/or U.S. government obligations sufficient to pay all principal and interest, if any, on the Notes when due and satisfying any additional conditions noted below, we will be deemed to have been discharged from our obligations under the Notes. In the event of a “covenant defeasance,” upon depositing such funds and satisfying similar conditions discussed below we would be released from certain covenants under the indenture relating to the Notes. The consequences to the holders of the Notes would be that, while they would no longer benefit from certain covenants under the indenture, and while the Notes could not be accelerated for any reason, the holders of the Notes nonetheless would be guaranteed to receive the principal and interest owed to them.
Under the indenture, we have the option to take the actions described below and be released from some of the restrictive covenants under the indenture under which the Notes were issued. This is called “covenant defeasance.” In that event, holders of the Notes would lose the protection of those restrictive covenants but would gain the protection of having money and government securities set aside in trust to repay the Notes. In order to achieve covenant defeasance, the following must occur:
|●||we must irrevocably deposit or cause to be deposited with the trustee as trust funds for the benefit of the all holders of the Notes cash, U.S. government obligations or a combination of cash and U.S. government obligations sufficient to generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other applicable payments on the Notes on their various due dates;|
|●||we must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel stating that under U.S. federal income tax law, we may make the above deposit and covenant defeasance without causing holders to be taxed on the Notes differently than if those actions were not taken;|
|●||we must deliver to the trustee an officers’ certificate stating that the Notes, if then listed on any securities exchange, will not be delisted as a result of the deposit;|
|●||no default or Event of Default with respect to the Notes has occurred and is continuing, and no defaults or Events of Defaults related to bankruptcy, insolvency or organization occurs during the 90 days following the deposit;|
|●||the covenant defeasance must not cause the trustee to have a conflicting interest within the meaning of the Trust Indenture Act;|
|●||the covenant defeasance must not result in a breach or violation of, or constitute a default under, the indenture or any other material agreements or instruments to which we are a party;|
|●||the covenant defeasance must not result in the trust arising from the deposit constituting an investment company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act unless such trust will be registered under the Investment Company Act or exempt from registration thereunder; and|
|●||we must deliver to the trustee an officers’ certificate and a legal opinion from our counsel stating that all conditions precedent with respect to the covenant defeasance have been complied with.|
If there is a change in U.S. federal income tax law, we can legally release ourselves from all payment and other obligations on the Notes if we take the following actions below:
|●||we must irrevocably deposit or cause to be deposited with the trustee as trust funds for the benefit of the all holders of the Notes cash, U.S. government obligations or a combination of cash and U.S. government obligations sufficient to generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other applicable payments on the Notes on their various due dates;|
|●||we must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion confirming that there has been a change to the current U.S. federal income tax law or an Internal Revenue Service ruling that allows us to make the above deposit without causing holders to be taxed on the Notes any differently than if we did not make the deposit;|
|●||we must deliver to the trustee an officers’ certificate stating that the Notes, if then listed on any securities exchange, will not be delisted as a result of the deposit;|
|●||no default or Event of Default with respect to the Notes has occurred and is continuing and no defaults or Events of Defaults related to bankruptcy, insolvency or organization occurs during the 90 days following the deposit;|
|●||the full defeasance must not cause the trustee to have a conflicting interest within the meaning of the Trust Indenture Act;|
|●||the full defeasance must not result in a breach or violation of, or constitute a default under, the indenture or any other material agreements or instruments to which we are a party;|
|●||the full defeasance must not result in the trust arising from the deposit constituting an investment company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act unless such trust will be registered under the Investment Company Act or exempt from registration thereunder; and|
|●||we must deliver to the trustee an officers’ certificate and a legal opinion from our counsel stating that all conditions precedent with respect to the full defeasance have been complied with.|
In the event that the trustee is unable to apply the funds held in trust to the payment of obligations under the Notes by reason of a court order or governmental injunction or prohibition, then those of our obligations discharged under the full defeasance or covenant defeasance will be revived and reinstated as though no deposit of funds had occurred, until such time as the trustee is permitted to apply all funds held in trust under the procedure described above may be applied to the payment of obligations under the Notes. However, if we make any payment of principal or interest on the Notes to the holders, we will have the right to receive such payments from the trust in the place of the holders.
We have applied to list the Notes on Nasdaq under the symbol “RILYH”. If the application is approved, we expect trading in the Notes on Nasdaq to begin within 30 business days of the date of the original issue date. The Notes are expected to trade “flat,” meaning that purchasers will not pay and sellers will not receive any accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes that is not included in the trading price.
The Indenture and the Notes will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.
Global Notes; Book-Entry Issuance
The Notes will be issued in the form of one or more global certificates, or “Global Notes,” registered in the name of The Depository Trust Company, or “DTC”. DTC has informed us that its nominee will be Cede & Co. Accordingly, we expect Cede & Co. to be the initial registered holder of the Notes. No person that acquires a beneficial interest in the Notes will be entitled to receive a certificate representing that person’s interest in the Notes except as described herein. Unless and until definitive securities are issued under the limited circumstances described below, all references to actions by holders of the Notes will refer to actions taken by DTC upon instructions from its participants, and all references to payments and notices to holders will refer to payments and notices to DTC or Cede & Co., as the registered holder of these securities.
DTC has informed us that it is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code, and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the Exchange Act. DTC holds and provides asset servicing for over 3.5 million issues of U.S. and non-U.S. equity issues, corporate and municipal debt issues, and money market instruments from over 100 countries that DTC’s participants, or “Direct Participants,” deposit with DTC. DTC also facilitates the post-trade settlement among Direct Participants of sales and other securities transactions in deposited securities through electronic computerized book-entry transfers and pledges between Direct Participants’ accounts. This eliminates the need for physical movement of securities certificates. Direct Participants include both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations. DTC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, or “DTCC.”
DTCC is the holding company for DTC, National Securities Clearing Corporation and Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, all of which are registered clearing agencies. DTCC is owned by the users of its regulated subsidiaries. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies and clearing corporations that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a Direct Participant, either directly or indirectly, or “Indirect Participants.” DTC has an S&P rating of AA+. The DTC Rules applicable to its participants are on file with the SEC. More information about DTC can be found at www.dtcc.com.
Purchases of the Notes under the DTC system must be made by or through Direct Participants, which will receive a credit for the Notes on DTC’s records. The ownership interest of each actual purchaser of each Note, or the “Beneficial Owner,” is in turn to be recorded on the Direct and Indirect Participants’ records. Beneficial Owners will not receive written confirmation from DTC of their purchase. Beneficial Owners are, however, expected to receive written confirmations providing details of the transaction, as well as periodic statements of their holdings, from the Direct or Indirect Participant through which the Beneficial Owner entered into the transaction. Transfers of ownership interests in the Notes are to be accomplished by entries made on the books of Direct and Indirect Participants acting on behalf of Beneficial Owners. Beneficial Owners will not receive certificates representing their ownership interests in the Notes, except in the event that use of the book-entry system for the Notes is discontinued.
To facilitate subsequent transfers, all Notes deposited by Direct Participants with DTC are registered in the name of DTC’s partnership nominee, Cede & Co., or such other name as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. The deposit of the Notes with DTC and their registration in the name of Cede & Co. or such other DTC nominee do not effect any change in beneficial ownership. DTC has no knowledge of the actual Beneficial Owners of the Notes; DTC’s records reflect only the identity of the Direct Participants to whose accounts the Notes are credited, which may or may not be the Beneficial Owners. The Direct and Indirect Participants will remain responsible for keeping account of their holdings on behalf of their customers.
Conveyance of notices and other communications by DTC to Direct Participants, by Direct Participants to Indirect Participants, and by Direct Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners will be governed by arrangements among them, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time.
Redemption notices will be sent to DTC. If less than all of the Notes are being redeemed, DTC’s practice is to determine by lot the amount of the interest of each Direct Participant in the Notes to be redeemed.
Neither DTC nor Cede & Co. (nor any other DTC nominee) will consent or vote with respect to the Notes unless authorized by a Direct Participant in accordance with DTC’s Procedures. Under its usual procedures, DTC mails an Omnibus Proxy to us as soon as possible after the record date. The Omnibus Proxy assigns Cede & Co.’s consenting or voting rights to those Direct Participants to whose accounts the Notes are credited on the record date (identified in a listing attached to the Omnibus Proxy).
Redemption proceeds, distributions and interest payments on the Notes will be made to Cede & Co., or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. DTC’s practice is to credit Direct Participants’ accounts upon DTC’s receipt of funds and corresponding detail information from us or the applicable trustee or depositary on the payment date in accordance with their respective holdings shown on DTC’s records. Payments by Participants to Beneficial Owners will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is the case with the Notes held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such Participant and not of DTC nor its nominee, the applicable trustee or depositary, or us, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time. Payment of redemption proceeds, distributions and interest payments to Cede & Co. (or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC) is the responsibility of us or the applicable trustee or depositary. Disbursement of such payments to Direct Participants will be the responsibility of DTC, and disbursement of such payments to the Beneficial Owners will be the responsibility of Direct and Indirect Participants.
The information in this section concerning DTC and DTC’s book-entry system has been obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable, but we take no responsibility for the accuracy thereof.
None of the Company, the trustee, any depositary, or any agent of any of them will have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of DTC’s or any participant’s records relating to, or for payments made on account of, beneficial interests in a Global Note, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial interests.
Termination of a Global Note
If a Global Note is terminated for any reason, interest in it will be exchanged for certificates in non-book-entry form as certificated securities. After such exchange, the choice of whether to hold the certificated Notes directly or in street name will be up to the investor. Investors must consult their own banks or brokers to find out how to have their interests in a Global Note transferred on termination to their own names, so that they will be holders of the Notes. See “—Form, Exchange and Transfer of Certificated Registered Securities.”
Payment and Paying Agents
We will pay interest to the person listed in the trustee’s records as the owner of the Notes at the close of business on the record date for the applicable interest payment date, even if that person no longer owns the Note on the interest payment date. Because we pay all the interest for an interest period to the holders on the record date, holders buying and selling the Notes must work out between themselves the appropriate purchase price. The most common manner is to adjust the sales price of the Notes to prorate interest fairly between buyer and seller based on their respective ownership periods within the particular interest period.
Payments on Global Notes
We will make payments on the Notes so long as they are represented by Global Notes in accordance with the applicable policies of the depositary in effect from time to time. Under those policies, we will make payments directly to the depositary, or its nominee, and not to any indirect holders who own beneficial interest in the Global Notes. An indirect holder’s right to those payments will be governed by the rules and practices of the depositary and its participants.
Payments on Certificated Securities
In the event the Notes become represented by certificates, we will make payments on the Notes as follows. We will pay interest that is due on an interest payment date by check mailed on the interest payment date to the holder of the Note at his or her address shown on the trustee’s records as of the close of business on the record date. We will make all payments of principal by check at the office of the trustee in the contiguous United States and/or at other offices that may be specified in the indenture or a notice to holders against surrender of the Note.
Payment When Offices Are Closed
If any payment is due on the Notes on a day that is not a business day, we will make the payment on the next day that is a business day. Payments made on the next business day in this situation will be treated under the indenture as if they were made on the original due date. Such payment will not result in a default under the Notes or the indenture, and no interest will accrue on the payment amount from the original due date to the next day that is a business day.
Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how they will receive payments on the Notes.
Form, Exchange and Transfer of Certificated Registered Securities
Notes in physical, certificated form will be issued and delivered to each person that DTC identifies as a beneficial owner of the related Notes only if:
|●||DTC notified us at any time that it is unwilling or unable to continue as depositary for the Global Notes;|
|●||DTC ceases to be registered as a clearing agency under the Exchange Act; or|
|●||an Event of Default with respect to such Global Note has occurred and is continuing.|
Holders may exchange their certificated securities for Notes of smaller denominations or combined into fewer Notes of larger denominations, as long as the total principal amount is not changed and as long as the denomination is equal to or greater than $25.
Holders may exchange or transfer their certificated securities at the office of the trustee. We have appointed the trustee to act as our agent for registering the Notes in the name of holders transferring Notes. We may at any time designate additional transfer agents or rescind the designation of any transfer agent or approve a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts.
Holders will not be required to pay a service charge for any registration of transfer or exchange of their certificated securities, but they may be required to pay any tax or other governmental charge associated with the registration of transfer or exchange. The transfer or exchange will be made only if our transfer agent is satisfied with the holder’s proof of legal ownership.
If we redeem any of the Notes, we may block the transfer or exchange of those Notes selected for redemption during the period beginning 15 days before the day we mail the notice of redemption and ending on the day of that mailing, in order to determine or fix the list of holders to prepare the mailing. We may also refuse to register transfer or exchanges of any certificated Notes selected for redemption, except that we will continue to permit transfers and exchanges of the unredeemed portion of any Note that will be partially redeemed.
About the Trustee
U.S. Bank National Association is the trustee under the indenture and will be the principal paying agent and registrar for the Notes. The trustee may resign or be removed with respect to the Notes provided that a successor trustee is appointed to act with respect to the Notes.
The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership, and disposition of the Notes that we are offering. The following discussion is not exhaustive of all possible tax considerations. This summary is based upon the Code, regulations promulgated under the Code by the U.S. Treasury Department (including proposed and temporary regulations), rulings, current administrative interpretations and official pronouncements of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), and judicial decisions, all as currently in effect and all of which are subject to differing interpretations or to change, possibly with retroactive effect. Such change could materially and adversely affect the tax consequences described below. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax consequences described below.
This summary is for general information only, and does not address all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be important to a particular holder in light of its investment or tax circumstances or to holders subject to special tax rules, such as partnerships (including entities and arrangements classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes), subchapter S corporations or other pass-through entities, banks, financial institutions, tax-exempt entities, insurance companies, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, trusts and estates, dealers in stocks, securities or currencies, traders in securities that have elected to use the mark-to-market method of accounting for their securities, persons holding the Notes as part of an integrated transaction, including a “straddle,” “hedge,” “constructive sale,” or “conversion transaction,” U.S. Holders (as defined below) whose functional currency for tax purposes (as defined in Section 985 of the Code) is not the U.S. dollar, holders subject to Section 451(b) of the Code, and individuals subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code. This summary does not include any description of the tax laws of any state or local governments, or of any foreign government, that may be applicable to a particular holder.
This summary is directed solely to holders that, except as otherwise specifically noted, will purchase the Notes offered in this prospectus supplement upon original issuance for the “issue price” (i.e., the first price at which a substantial amount of the Notes is sold for money to persons, other than to bond houses, brokers or similar persons or organizations acting in the capacity of the underwriters, placement agents or wholesalers) for cash and will hold such securities as capital assets within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code, which generally means as property held for investment.
This summary is not a comprehensive description of all of the U.S. federal tax consequences that may be relevant with respect to the acquisition, ownership and disposition of the Notes. We urge you to consult your own tax advisor regarding your particular circumstances and the U.S. federal income and estate tax consequences to you of acquiring, owning and disposing of these securities, as well as any tax consequences arising under the laws of any state, local, foreign, or other tax jurisdiction and the possible effects of changes in U.S. federal or other tax laws.
As used in this prospectus supplement, the term “U.S. Holder” means a beneficial owner of Notes that is for U.S. federal income tax purposes:
|●||an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;|
|●||a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States or of any state of the United States or the District of Columbia;|
|●||an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source;|
|●||a trust if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust and one or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust; or|
|●||a trust in existence on August 20, 1996 that has a valid election in effect under applicable Treasury regulations to be treated as a United States person.|
As used in this prospectus supplement, the term “Non-U.S. Holder” is a beneficial owner of the Notes (other than a partnership or other entity taxable as a partnership) that is not a U.S. Holder.
If an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds the Notes offered in this prospectus supplement, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership and accordingly, this summary does not apply to partnerships. A partner of a partnership holding the Notes should consult its own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences to the partner of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of the Notes by the partnership.
Consequences to U.S. Holders
The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences that will apply to U.S. Holders of the Notes.
Payment of Interest. It is expected, and this discussion assumes, that the Notes will be issued with less than a de minimis amount of “original issue discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, interest on a Note generally will be included in the income of a U.S. Holder as interest income at the time it is accrued or is received in accordance with the U.S. Holder’s regular method of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes and will be ordinary income.
Sale, Exchange, or Retirement of Notes. Upon the sale, exchange, retirement, or other disposition of a Note, a U.S. Holder will recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized upon the sale, exchange, retirement or other disposition and the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the Note. The amount realized by the U.S. Holder will include the amount of any cash and the fair market value of any other property received for the Note, but will exclude amounts attributable to accrued but unpaid interest which will be treated as described above under “Payments of Interest.” A U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in a Note will generally be the cost of the Note to such U.S. Holder.
Gain or loss realized on the sale, exchange, retirement, or other disposition of a Note generally will be capital gain or loss, and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the Note has been held for more than one year. Net long-term capital gain recognized by an individual U.S. Holder is generally taxed at preferential rates. The ability of U.S. Holders to deduct capital losses is subject to limitations under the Code.
Additional Medicare Tax on Unearned Income. Certain U.S. Holders, including individuals, estates and trusts, are subject to an additional 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income. For individual U.S. Holders, the additional Medicare tax applies to the lesser of (i) “net investment income” or (ii) the excess of “modified adjusted gross income” over $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly or $125,000 if married and filing separately). “Net investment income” generally equals the taxpayer’s gross investment income reduced by the deductions that are allocable to such income. Investment income generally includes passive income such as interest and capital gains. U.S. Holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the implications of the additional Medicare tax resulting from an investment in the Notes.
Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders
The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences that will apply to Non-U.S. Holders of a Note.
Payments of Interest. Except as discussed below, principal and interest payments that are received from us and that are not effectively connected with the conduct by the Non-U.S. Holder of a trade or business within the United States, or a permanent establishment maintained in the United States if certain tax treaties apply, generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, except as provided below. Interest may be subject to a 30% withholding tax (or less under an applicable treaty, if any) if:
|●||a Non-U.S. Holder actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of our stock entitled to vote;|
|●||a Non-U.S. Holder is a “controlled foreign corporation” for U.S. federal income tax purposes that is related to us (directly or indirectly) through stock ownership;|
|●||a Non-U.S. Holder is a bank extending credit pursuant to a loan agreement entered into in the ordinary course of its trade or business (as described in Section 881(c)(3)(A) of the Code); or|
|●||the Non-U.S. Holder does not satisfy the certification requirements described below.|
In the case of the Notes, a Non-U.S. Holder generally will satisfy the certification requirements if either: (A) the Non-U.S. Holder certifies to us, under penalties of perjury, that it is not a “United States person” (within the meaning of the Code) and provides its name and address (which certification may generally be made on an IRS Form W-8BEN, IRS Form W-8BEN-E or other applicable U.S. nonresident withholding tax certification form), or (B) a securities clearing organization, bank, or other financial institution that holds customer securities in the ordinary course of its trade or business (a “financial institution”) and holds the Note certifies to us under penalties of perjury that either it or another financial institution has received the required statement from the Non-U.S. Holder certifying that it is not a United States person and furnishes us with a copy of the statement.
Except as discussed below, payments not meeting the requirements set forth above and thus subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax may nevertheless be exempt from withholding (or subject to withholding at a reduced rate) if the Non-U.S. Holder provides us with a properly executed IRS Form W-8BEN, Form W-8BEN-E, or other applicable U.S. nonresident withholding tax certification form, claiming an exemption from, or reduction in, withholding under the benefit of a tax treaty, or IRS Form W-8ECI (or other applicable form) stating that interest paid on the Notes is not subject to withholding tax because it is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States as discussed below. These forms may be required to be updated periodically. To claim benefits under an income tax treaty, a Non-U.S. Holder must obtain a taxpayer identification number and certify as to its eligibility under the appropriate treaty’s limitations on benefits article. In addition, special rules may apply to claims for treaty benefits made by Non-U.S. Holders that are entities rather than individuals. A Non-U.S. Holder that is eligible for a reduced rate of U.S. federal withholding tax pursuant to an income tax treaty may obtain a refund of any excess amounts withheld by timely filing an appropriate claim for refund with the IRS.
Sale, Exchange, or Retirement of Note. Except as discussed below, a Non-U.S. Holder generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax on any capital gain or market discount realized on the sale, exchange, retirement or other disposition of Notes, provided that: (a) the gain is not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States, or a permanent establishment maintained in the United States if certain tax treaties apply, and (b) in the case of a Non-U.S. Holder that is an individual, the Non-U.S. Holder is not present in the United States for 183 days or more in the taxable year of the sale, exchange or other disposition of the Note. An individual Non-U.S. Holder who is present in the United States for 183 days or more in the taxable year of sale, exchange or other disposition of a Note, and if certain other conditions are met, will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% on the gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of such Note.
Income Effectively Connected with a Trade or Business within the United States. If a Non-U.S. Holder of a Note is engaged in the conduct of a trade or business within the United States and if interest on the Note, or gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of the Note, is effectively connected with the conduct of such trade or business (and, if certain tax treaties apply, is attributable to a permanent establishment maintained by the Non-U.S. Holder in the United States), the Non-U.S. Holder, although exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax (provided that the certification requirements discussed above are satisfied), will generally be subject to U.S. federal income tax on such interest or gain on a net income basis in the same manner as if it were a U.S. Holder. Non-U.S. Holders should read the material under the heading “— Consequences to U.S. Holders,” for a description of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of acquiring, owning, and disposing of a Note. In addition, if such Non-U.S. Holder is a foreign corporation, it may also be subject to a branch profits tax equal to 30% (or such lower rate provided by an applicable U.S. income tax treaty) of all or a portion of its earnings and profits for the taxable year that are effectively connected with its conduct of a trade or business in the United States, subject to certain adjustments.
Backup Withholding and Information Reporting
In general, in the case of a U.S. Holder, other than certain exempt recipients (including a corporation and certain other persons who, when required, demonstrate their exempt status), we and other payors are required to report to the IRS all payments of principal and interest on the Notes. In addition, we and other payors generally are required to report to the IRS any payment of proceeds from the sale of a Note before maturity. Additionally, backup withholding generally will apply to any payments if a U.S. Holder fails to provide an accurate taxpayer identification number and certify that the taxpayer identification number is correct, the U.S. Holder is notified by the IRS that it is subject to backup withholding, or the U.S. Holder does not certify that it is not subject to backup withholding. If applicable, backup withholding will be imposed at a rate of 24%.
In the case of a Non-U.S. Holder, backup withholding and information reporting will not apply to payments made if the Non-U.S. Holder provides the required certification to the applicable withholding agent under penalties of perjury that it is not a United States person, or the Non-U.S. Holder otherwise establishes an exemption, provided that the payor does not have actual knowledge that the holder is a United States person, or that the conditions of any exemption are not satisfied.
In addition, payments of the proceeds from the sale of a Note to or through a foreign office of a broker or the foreign office of a custodian, nominee, or other dealer acting on behalf of a holder generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, if the broker, custodian, nominee, or other dealer is a United States person, the government of the United States or the government of any state or political subdivision of any state, or any agency or instrumentality of any of these governmental units, a controlled foreign corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a foreign partnership that is either engaged in a trade or business within the United States or whose United States partners in the aggregate hold more than 50% of the income or capital interest in the partnership, a foreign person 50% or more of whose gross income for a certain period is effectively connected with a trade or business within the United States, or a United States branch of a foreign bank or insurance company, information reporting (but not backup withholding) generally will be required with respect to payments made to a holder unless the broker, custodian, nominee, or other dealer has documentation of the holder’s foreign status and the broker, custodian, nominee, or other dealer has no actual knowledge or reason to know to the contrary.
Payment of the proceeds from a sale of a Note to or through the United States office of a broker is subject to information reporting and backup withholding, unless the holder certifies as to its non-United States person status or otherwise establishes an exemption from information reporting and backup withholding.
Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules will be allowed as a refund or a credit against a holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability provided the required information is timely furnished to the IRS.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
Certain provisions of the Code, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”), impose a 30% U.S. withholding tax on certain U.S. source payments, including interest, dividends, other fixed or determinable annual or periodical gain, profits, and income, and on the gross proceeds from a disposition of property of a type which can produce U.S. source interest or dividends (“Withholdable Payments”), if paid to a foreign financial institution (including amounts paid to a foreign financial institution on behalf of a holder), unless such institution enters into an agreement with the Treasury to collect and provide to the Treasury certain information (that is in addition to and significantly more onerous than, the requirement to deliver an applicable U.S. nonresident withholding tax certification form (e.g., IRS Form W-8BEN), as discussed above) regarding U.S. financial account holders, including certain account holders that are foreign entities with U.S. owners, with such institution or otherwise complies with FATCA. FATCA also generally imposes a withholding tax of 30% on Withholdable Payments made to a non-financial foreign entity unless such entity provides the withholding agent with a certification that it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or a certification identifying the direct and indirect substantial U.S. owners of the entity. Under certain circumstances, a holder may be eligible for refunds or credits of such taxes.
These withholding and reporting requirements generally apply to U.S. source periodic payments (such as interest payments on the Notes) and, after December 31, 2018, to payments of gross proceeds from a sale, exchange, redemption, or other disposition. If we determine withholding is appropriate with respect to the Notes, we will withhold tax at the applicable statutory rate, and we will not pay any additional amounts in respect of such withholding. Foreign financial institutions and non-financial foreign entities located in jurisdictions that have an intergovernmental agreement with the United States governing FATCA may be subject to different rules. We will not be required to pay any additional amounts in respect of any payments to which FATCA withholding applies. Holders are urged to consult with their own tax advisors regarding the possible implications of FATCA on their investment in the Notes.
B. Riley FBR is acting as joint book-running manager and representative of each of the underwriters named below. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in an underwriting agreement among us and the underwriters dated May , 2018 (the “Underwriting Agreement”), we have agreed to sell to the underwriters, and each of the underwriters has agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase from us, the principal amount of Notes set forth opposite its name below.
|Underwriter||Principal Amount of Notes|
|B. Riley FBR, Inc.|
|Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc.|
|Boenning & Scattergood, Inc.|
|Wedbush Securities Inc.|
|William Blair & Company, L.L.C.|
Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Underwriting Agreement, the underwriters have agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase all of the Notes sold under the Underwriting Agreement. These conditions include, among others, the continued accuracy of representations and warranties made by us in the Underwriting Agreement, delivery of legal opinions and the absence of any material changes in our assets, business or prospects after the date of this prospectus supplement.
The several obligations of the underwriters under the Underwriting Agreement are conditional and may be terminated on the occurrence of certain stated events, including, in the event that at or prior to the closing of the offering: (i) trading in securities generally on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market or in the over-the-counter market, or trading in any securities of the Company on any exchange or in the over-the-counter market, shall have been suspended or materially limited, or minimum or maximum prices or maximum range for prices shall have been established on any such exchange or such market by the SEC, by such exchange or market or by any other regulatory body or governmental authority having jurisdiction; (ii) a banking moratorium shall have been declared by United States federal or state authorities or a material disruption has occurred in commercial banking or securities settlement or clearance services in the United States; (iii) the United States shall have become engaged in hostilities, or the subject of an act of terrorism, or there shall have been an outbreak of or escalation in hostilities involving the United States, or there shall have been a declaration of a national emergency or war by the United States; or (iv) there shall have occurred such a material adverse change in general economic, political or financial conditions (or the effect of international conditions on the financial markets in the United States shall be such) as to make it, in the reasonable judgment of the underwriters, impracticable or inadvisable to proceed with the sale or delivery of the Notes on the terms and in the manner contemplated in this prospectus supplement.
We have granted to the underwriters the option to purchase up to an additional $7,500,000 of Notes at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts (the “Option”). If any Notes are purchased pursuant to the Option, the underwriters will, severally but not jointly, purchase the Notes in approximately the same proportions as set forth in the above table. This prospectus supplement also qualifies the grant of the Option and the Notes issuable upon the exercise thereof. A purchaser who acquires any Notes forming part of the underwriters' over-allocation position acquires such Notes under this prospectus supplement, regardless of whether the over-allocation position is ultimately filled through the exercise of the Option or secondary market purchases.
We have agreed to indemnify the underwriters against certain liabilities, including, among other things, liabilities under the Securities Act or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.
We expect to deliver the Note against payment for such notes on or about May , 2018, which will be the third business day following the date of the pricing of the Notes (“T + 3”). Under Rule 15c6-1 of the Exchange Act, trades in the secondary market generally are required to settle in two business days, unless the parties to a trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, purchasers who wish to trade the Notes on the date of pricing or the next succeeding business day will be required, by virtue of the fact that the Notes initially will settle in T + 3, to specify alternative settlement arrangements to prevent a failed settlement.
Discounts and Expenses
The representative has advised us that the underwriters propose initially to offer the Notes to the public at the public offering price and to dealers at that price less a concession not in excess of $ per Note. The underwriters may allow, and the dealers may re-allow, a discount not in excess of $ per Note to other dealers. After the underwriters have made a reasonable effort to sell all of the Notes at the offering price, such offering price may be decreased and may be further changed from time to time to an amount not greater than the offering price set forth herein, and the compensation realized by the underwriters will effectively be decreased by the amount that the price paid by purchasers for the Notes is less than the original offering price. Any such reduction will not affect the net proceeds received by us. The underwriters reserve the right to withdraw, cancel or modify offers to the public and to reject orders in whole or in part.
The following table shows the per share and total underwriting discount that we are to pay to the underwriters in connection with this offering. Such amounts are shown assuming both no exercise and full exercise of the Option.
|Price to the|
|(1)||Pursuant to the terms of the Underwriting Agreement, the underwriters will receive a discount equal to $0.7875 per Note.|
|(2)||After deducting the underwriting discount but before deducting expenses of the offering, estimated to be $ .|
|(3)||If the Option is exercised in full, the total price to the public, underwriting discount and net proceeds to us (after deducting the underwriting discount but before deducting estimated offering expenses) will be $ , $ and $ , respectively.|
We estimate that the total expenses of this offering, including registration, filing and listing fees, printing fees and legal and accounting expenses, but excluding underwriting discounts and reimbursements, will be approximately $ . We have also agreed to reimburse the underwriters for their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, including attorneys’ fees, up to $75,000.
No Sales of Similar Securities
We have agreed for a period of 30 days following the date of this offering that, without the prior written consent of the representative, which may not be unreasonably withheld, on behalf of the underwriters, we will not, sell, offer to sell, contract or agree to sell, hypothecate, pledge, grant any option to purchase or otherwise dispose of or agree to dispose of, directly or indirectly, any debt securities issued or guaranteed by the Company or any securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for debt securities issued or guaranteed by the Company or file or cause to be declared effective a registration statement under the Securities Act with respect to any of the foregoing.
Stock Exchange Listing
We have applied to list the Notes on Nasdaq. If the application is approved, trading of the Notes on Nasdaq is expected to begin within 30 days after the date of initial delivery of the Notes. The underwriters will have no obligation to make a market in the Notes, however, and may cease market-making activities, if commenced, at any time. Accordingly, an active trading market on the Nasdaq for the Notes may not develop or, even if one develops, may not last, in which case the liquidity and market price of the Notes could be adversely affected, the difference between bid and asked prices could be substantial and your ability to transfer the Notes at the time and price desired will be limited.
Price Stabilization, Short Positions
Until the distribution of the Notes is completed, SEC rules may limit underwriters and selling group members from bidding for and purchasing our Notes. However, the representative may engage in transactions that have the effect of stabilizing the price of the Notes, such as purchases and other activities that peg, fix or maintain that price.
In connection with this offering, the underwriters may bid for or purchase and sell our Notes in the open market. These transactions may include short sales and purchases on the open market to cover positions created by short sales. Short sales involve the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of our Notes than they are required to purchase in this offering. "Covered" short sales are sales made in an amount not greater than the Underwriters ' option to purchase additional Notes in this offering. the underwriters may close out any covered short position by either exercising their option to purchase additional notes or purchasing notes in the open market. In determining the source of notes to close out the covered short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of notes available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which they may purchase additional notes pursuant to the option granted to them. "Naked" short sales are sales in excess of the option to purchase additional Notes. The underwriters must close out any naked short position by purchasing Notes in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of our Notes in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in this offering.
Similar to other purchase transactions, the underwriters' purchases to cover the syndicate short sales and other activities may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of the Notes or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the Notes. As a result, the price of the Notes may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market. If these activities are commenced, they may be discontinued at any time. The underwriters may conduct these transactions on Nasdaq, in the over-the-counter market or otherwise.
The underwriters also may impose a penalty bid. This occurs when a particular underwriter repays to the underwriters a portion of the underwriting discount received by it because the representative has repurchased Notes sold by or for the account of such underwriter in stabilizing or short covering transactions.
Neither we nor any of the underwriters make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of our Notes. In addition, neither we nor any of the underwriters make any representation that the representative will engage in these transactions or that these transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.
Electronic Offer, Sale and Distribution of Notes
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in electronic format may be made available on websites maintained by one or more of the underwriters, and the underwriters may distribute the prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus electronically.
Other than this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in electronic format, the information on any underwriter’s or any selling group member’s website and any information contained in any other website maintained by an underwriter or any selling group member is not part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus or the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus forms a part, has not been approved and/or endorsed by us or any underwriter or any selling group member in its capacity as underwriter or selling group member and should not be relied upon by investors.
Additional Relationships and Conflicts of Interest
The underwriters and their affiliates are full service financial institutions engaged in various activities, which may include sales and trading, commercial and investment banking, advisory, investment management, investment research, principal investment, hedging, market making, brokerage and other financial and non-financial activities and services. The underwriters and their affiliates may provide from time to time in the future in the ordinary course of their business certain commercial banking, financial advisory, investment banking and other services to us for which they will be entitled to receive customary fees and expenses. The underwriters have in the past and may in the future borrow money from or obtain other financial and non-financial services from us for which we will be entitled to receive customary fees and expenses.
B. Riley FBR, our wholly-owned subsidiary, will participate in the offering of the Notes as a joint book-running manager.
Because of the foregoing, the representative may be deemed to have a “conflict of interest” within the meaning of Rule 5121 of the FINRA, and this offering will be conducted in accordance with Rule 5121. The representative may not make sales of Notes in this offering to any of its discretionary accounts without the prior written approval of the account holder. However, in accordance with FINRA Rule 5121, no “qualified independent underwriter” is required because the Notes are investment grade-rated by one or more nationally recognized statistical rating agencies.
Marcum LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, has audited our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, as well as the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, as stated in its report incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement, and such audited consolidated financial statements have been incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement in reliance upon the report of such firm given upon its authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
The consolidated financial statements of FBR & Co. and its subsidiaries as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2016 and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement have been so incorporated in reliance on the reports of BDO USA, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated herein by reference, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.
The consolidated financial statements of magicJack VocalTec Ltd. as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017 and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017 incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement have been so incorporated in reliance on the reports of BDO USA, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated herein by reference, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.
Certain legal matters will be passed upon for us by Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Diego, California, and for the underwriters by Duane Morris LLP, New York, New York.
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC. The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” the information that we file with it, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus from the date we file that document. Any documents filed by us under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act with the SEC after the date of this prospectus supplement and before the date that the offering of Notes by means of this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus is terminated will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus. We incorporate by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus the following documents or information filed with the SEC (other than, in each case, documents or information deemed to have been furnished and not filed in accordance with SEC rules):
|●||Our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, filed with the SEC on May 8, 2018;|
|●||Our annual report on Form 10-K and Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on March 14, 2018 and April 4, 2018, respectively; and|
|●||Our current reports on Form 8-K/A filed with the SEC on June 28, 2017 and March 23, 2018 and our current reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on November 21, 2017, January 5, 2018, January 16, 2018, March 20, 2018, April 25, 2018 and May 11, 2018.|
We will provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are delivered, upon his or her written or oral request, a copy of any or all documents referred to above that have been or may be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, excluding exhibits to those documents unless they are specifically incorporated by reference into those documents. You may request those documents from us by contacting us at: B. Riley Financial, Inc., 21255 Burbank Blvd, Suite 400, Woodland Hills, California 91367, Attention: Investor Relations, telephone (818) 884-3737.
B. RILEY FINANCIAL, INC.
We may offer and sell from time to time the above securities in one or more classes, in one or more transactions, separately or together in any combination and as separate series, and in amounts, at prices and on terms that we will determine at the times of the offerings. We may also offer any of these securities that may be issuable upon the conversion, exercise or exchange of debt securities, preferred stock or warrants. The aggregate initial offering price of the securities that we may offer through this prospectus will be up to $250,000,000.
We will provide specific terms of any offering in supplements to this prospectus, which we will deliver together with the prospectus at the time of sale. The supplements may add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement carefully before you invest. This prospectus may not be used to offer and sell securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.
We may offer the securities independently or together in any combination for sale directly to purchasers, through one or more underwriters, dealers or agents, or through underwriting syndicates managed or co-managed by one or more underwriters, to be designated at a future date, on a continuous or delayed basis.
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol “RILY”. On March 19, 2018, the last reported sales price of our common stock as quoted on NASDAQ was $19.85 per share.
On March 15, 2018, the aggregate market value of our outstanding common stock held by non-affiliates was $258.7 million.
Investing in our securities involves risks. Risks associated with an investment in our securities will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement and certain of our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as described under the caption “Risk Factors” on page 2 of this prospectus.
NEITHER THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION NOR ANY STATE SECURITIES COMMISSION HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED OF THESE SECURITIES OR DETERMINED IF THIS PROSPECTUS IS TRUTHFUL OR COMPLETE. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
The date of this prospectus is April 6, 2018.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|ABOUT B. RILEY FINANCIAL, INC.||1|
|SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||3|
|DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE||3|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||4|
|SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER||4|
|DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK||5|
|DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS||7|
|DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES||7|
|DESCRIPTION OF UNITS||13|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||14|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION||16|
|INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE||16|
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell the securities or combinations of the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings in amounts that we will determine from time to time. For further information about our business and the securities, you should refer to the registration statement containing this prospectus and its exhibits. The exhibits to our registration statement contain the full text of certain contracts and other important documents we have summarized in this prospectus. Since these summaries may not contain all the information that you may find important in deciding whether to purchase the securities we offer, you should review the full text of these documents. We have filed and plan to continue to file other documents with the SEC that contain information about us and our business. Also, we will file legal documents that control the terms of the securities offered by this prospectus as exhibits to the reports we file by the SEC. The registration statement and other reports can be obtained from the SEC as indicated under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.”
This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities that we may offer. Each time we offer securities pursuant to this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement and/or other offering material that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. When we refer to a “prospectus supplement,” we are also referring to any free writing prospectus or other offering material authorized by us. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. If there is any inconsistency between the information in this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement or incorporated information having a later date. You should read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.”
You should rely only on the information provided in this prospectus, in any prospectus supplement, or any other offering material that we authorize, including the information incorporated by reference. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus, any supplement to this prospectus, or any other offering material that we authorize, is accurate at any date other than the date indicated on the cover page of these documents or the date of the statement contained in any incorporated documents, respectively. This prospectus is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the securities referred to in the prospectus supplement. This prospectus is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy such securities in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. You should not interpret the delivery of this prospectus, or any sale of securities, as an indication that there has been no change in our affairs since the date of this prospectus. You should also be aware that information in this prospectus may change after this date. The information contained in this prospectus or a prospectus supplement or amendment, or incorporated herein or therein by reference, is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus or prospectus supplement or amendment, as applicable, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or prospectus supplement or amendment, as applicable, or of any sale of the shares.
As used in this prospectus, unless the context indicates or otherwise requires, “the Company,” “B. Riley,” “we,” “us” or “our” refer to the combined business of B. Riley Financial, Inc. and all of its subsidiaries.
We provide collaborative financial services and solutions through several operating subsidiaries, including:
|●||B. Riley FBR, Inc. (“B. Riley FBR”) is a leading, full service investment bank providing financial advisory, corporate finance, research, securities lending and sales & trading services to corporate, institutional and high net worth individual clients. B. Riley FBR was formed in November 2017 through the merger of B. Riley & Co, LLC and FBR Capital Markets & Co.; the name of the combined broker dealer was subsequently changed to B. Riley FBR, Inc. FBR Capital Markets & Co. was acquired by B. Riley Financial in June 2017.|
|●||Wunderlich Securities, Inc., acquired by B. Riley Financial in July 2017, provides comprehensive wealth management and brokerage services to individuals and families, corporations and non-profit organizations, including qualified retirement plans, trusts, foundations and endowments.|
|●||B. Riley Capital Management, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor, which includes:|
|o||B. Riley Asset Management, an advisor to certain private funds and to institutional and high net worth investors;|
|o||B. Riley Wealth Management, a multi-family office practice and wealth management firm focused on the needs of ultra-high net worth individuals and families; and|
|o||Great American Capital Partners, LLC (“GACP”), the general partner of a private fund, GACP I, L.P. a direct lending fund that provides senior secured loans and second lien secured loan facilities to middle market public and private U.S. companies.|
|●||Great American Group, LLC, a leading provider of asset disposition and auction solutions to a wide range of retail and industrial clients.|
|●||Great American Group Advisory and Valuation Services, LLC, a leading provider of appraisal and valuation services for asset based lenders, private equity firms and corporate clients.|
We also pursue a strategy of investing in or acquiring companies which we believe have attractive investment return characteristics. On July 1, 2016, we acquired United Online, Inc. (“UOL”) as part of our principal investment strategy.
|●||UOL is a communications company that offers subscription services and products, consisting of Internet access services and devices under the NetZero and Juno brands primarily sold in the United States.|
We are headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in major cities throughout the United States including New York, Chicago, Boston, Memphis, and Metro Washington D.C.
We currently have four operating segments: (i) Capital Markets, through which we provide investment banking, corporate finance, securities lending, restructuring, research, sales and trading and wealth management services to corporate, institutional and high net worth clients; (ii) Auction and Liquidation, through which we provide auction and liquidation services to help clients dispose of assets that include multi-location retail inventory, wholesale inventory, trade fixtures, machinery and equipment, intellectual property and real property; (iii) Valuation and Appraisal, through which we provide valuation and appraisal services to clients with independent appraisals in connection with asset based loans, acquisitions, divestitures and other business needs and (iv) Principal Investments - United Online, through which we provide consumer internet access and related subscription services.
Our Corporate Information
We are a Delaware corporation. Our executive offices are located at 21255 Burbank Blvd, Suite 400, Woodland Hills, California 91367, and the telephone number at our principal executive office is (818) 884-3737. Our website addresses are http://www.greatamerican.com, http://www.brileyfin.com and http://www.unitedonline.net. We have not incorporated by reference into this prospectus the information on our website, and you should not consider it to be a part of this document.
Investing in our securities involves risk. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks described under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus and in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, together with all of the other information appearing in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement. These risks could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition and could result in a partial or complete loss of your investment. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also significantly impair our business operations and financial condition. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Statements in this prospectus that are not descriptions of historical facts are forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, our business, operating results, financial condition and stock price could be materially negatively affected. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology including “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “should,” “will,” “would” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated include those set forth in the section titled “Risk Factors.”
We operate in a very competitive and rapidly-changing environment and new risks emerge from time to time. As a result, it is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this prospectus may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. Moreover, neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this prospectus speak only as of the date hereof, and except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this prospectus to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations.
The terms of any particular offering by us, the initial offering price and the net proceeds to us will be contained in the prospectus supplement, information incorporated by reference or free writing prospectus, relating to such offering.
Unless we inform you otherwise in the prospectus supplement, we expect to use the net proceeds from the sale of the securities for capital expenditures, working capital and other general corporate purposes. Pending any specific application, we may initially invest the net proceeds in short-term marketable securities.
We have not determined the amounts we plan to spend on the areas listed above or the timing of these expenditures. As a result, our management will have broad discretion to allocate the net proceeds of any offering.
We may issue from time to time, in one or more offerings the following securities:
|●||shares of common stock;|
|●||shares of preferred stock;|
|●||warrants exercisable for debt securities, common stock or preferred stock;|
|●||debt securities; and|
|●||units of common stock, preferred stock, warrants or debt securities, in any combination.|
This prospectus contains a summary of the material general terms of the various securities that we may offer. The specific terms of the securities will be described in a prospectus supplement, information incorporated by reference, or free writing prospectus, which may be in addition to or different from the general terms summarized in this prospectus. Where applicable, the prospectus supplement, information incorporated by reference or free writing prospectus will also describe any material United States federal income tax considerations relating to the securities offered and indicate whether the securities offered are or will be listed on any securities exchange. The summaries contained in this prospectus and in any prospectus supplements, information incorporated by reference or free writing prospectus may not contain all of the information that you would find useful. Accordingly, you should read the actual documents relating to any securities sold pursuant to this prospectus. See “Where You Can Find Additional Information” and “Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference” for information about how to obtain copies of those documents.
The terms of any particular offering, the initial offering price and the net proceeds to us will be contained in the prospectus supplement, information incorporated by reference or free writing prospectus, relating to such offering.
Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, provides that we are authorized to issue 41,000,000 shares of capital stock. Our authorized capital stock is comprised of 40,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, and 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
The following description is a summary of the material terms of our capital stock and certain provisions of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, and Amended and Restated Bylaws. This description does not purport to be complete. For information on how you can obtain our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws, see “Where You Can Find Additional Information.”
We are authorized to issue up to 40,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders. Our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors. Accordingly, holders of a majority of the shares voting are able to elect all of our directors. Subject to preferences that may apply to any then outstanding shares of preferred stock, the holders of outstanding shares of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends out of assets legally available for distribution at the times and in the amounts, if any, that our Board of Directors may determine from time to time. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, subject to the rights of each series of our preferred stock, which may, from time to time come into existence, holders of our common stock are entitled to share ratably in all of our assets remaining after we pay our liabilities. Holders of our common stock have no preemptive or other subscription or conversion rights. Our common stock is not redeemable and there are no sinking fund provisions applicable to our common stock.
Our Board of Directors is authorized, subject to limitations imposed by Delaware law, to issue up to 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share, in one or more series, without stockholder approval. Our Board of Directors is authorized to fix the number of shares of preferred stock and to determine or (so long as no shares of such series are then outstanding) alter for each such series, such voting powers, full or limited, or no voting powers, and such designations, preferences, and relative, participating, optional, or other rights and such qualifications, limitations, or restrictions thereof, as shall be stated and expressed in the resolution or resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors providing for the issuance of such shares and as may be permitted by Delaware General Corporation Law. The rights, privileges, preferences and restrictions of any such additional series may be subordinated to, pari passu with, or senior to any of those of any present or future class or series of our capital stock. Our Board of Directors is also authorized to decrease the number of shares of any series, prior or subsequent to the issue of that series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding. In case the number of shares of any series shall be so decreased, the shares constituting any decrease shall resume the status which they had prior to the adoption of the resolution originally fixing the number of shares of such series.
This section describes the general terms and provisions of our preferred stock. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the specific terms of any shares of preferred stock offered through that prospectus supplement, as well as any general terms described in this section that will not apply to those shares of preferred stock. We will file a copy of the certificate of designation that contains the terms of each new series of preferred stock with the SEC each time we issue a new series of preferred stock. Each certificate of designation will establish the number of shares included in a designated series and fix the designation, powers, privileges, preferences and rights of the shares of each series as well as any applicable qualifications, limitations or restrictions. You should refer to the applicable certificate of designation as well as our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation before deciding to buy shares of our preferred stock as described in the applicable prospectus supplement.
Anti-Takeover Provisions of Delaware Law and Charter Provisions
Interested Stockholder Transactions
We are subject to Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, which prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any “business combination” with any “interested stockholder” for a period of three years after the date that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, with the following exceptions:
|●||before such date, the board of directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested holder;|
|●||upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction began, excluding, for purposes of determining the number of shares outstanding, those shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers and by employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; or|
|●||on or after such date, the business combination is approved by the board of directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.|
Section 203 defines “business combination” to include the following:
|●||any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and the interested stockholder;|
|●||any sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge, transfer or other disposition of 10% or more of the assets of the corporation involving the interested stockholder;|
|●||subject to certain exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance or transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder;|
|●||any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock or any class or series of the corporation beneficially owned by the interested stockholder; or|
|●||the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits by or through the corporation.|
In general, Section 203 defines “interested stockholder” as an entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation or any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by such entity or person.
Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws
Provisions in our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, and Amended and Restated Bylaws may have the effect of discouraging certain transactions that may result in a change in control of our company. Some of these provisions provide that stockholders cannot act by written consent and impose advance notice requirements and procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and the nomination of candidates for election as directors. Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation allows us to issue shares of preferred stock (see “Blank Check Preferred Stock”) or common stock without any action by stockholders. Our directors and our officers are indemnified by us to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law pursuant to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation. Our Board of Directors is expressly authorized to make, alter or repeal our Amended and Restated Bylaws. These provisions may make it more difficult for stockholders to take specific corporate actions and may make it more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of the Company by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.
Blank Check Preferred Stock
Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, authorizes our Board of Directors to approve the issuance of up to 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock, without further approval of the stockholders, and to determine the rights and preferences of any series of preferred stock. The Board of Directors could issue one or more series of preferred stock with voting, conversion, dividend, liquidation or other rights that would adversely affect the voting power and ownership interest of holders of our common stock. This authority may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers, delaying or preventing a change in control and discouraging bids for our common stock at a premium over the market price.
We may issue warrants to purchase common stock, preferred stock or other securities described in this prospectus. We may issue warrants independently or as part of a unit with other securities. Warrants sold with other securities as a unit may be attached to or separate from the other securities. The prospectus supplement relating to any warrants we are offering will describe specific terms relating to the offering, including a description of any other securities sold together with the warrants. These terms will include some or all of the following:
|●||the title of the warrants;|
|●||the aggregate number of warrants offered;|
|●||the price or prices at which the warrants will be issued;|
|●||the designation, number and terms of any common stock, preferred stock or other securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants and procedures by which those numbers may be adjusted;|
|●||the exercise price of the warrants, including any provisions for changes or adjustments to the exercise price, and terms relating to the currency in which such price is payable;|
|●||the dates or periods during which the warrants are exercisable;|
|●||the designation and terms of any securities with which the warrants are issued as a unit;|
|●||if the warrants are issued as a unit with another security, the date on or after which the warrants and the other security will be separately transferable;|
|●||any minimum or maximum amount of warrants that may be exercised at any one time;|
|●||any terms relating to the modification of the warrants;|
|●||a discussion of material federal income tax considerations, if applicable; and|
|●||any other terms of the warrants and any other securities sold together with the warrants, including, but not limited to, the terms, procedures and limitations relating to the transferability, exchange, exercise or redemption of the warrants.|
The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the specific terms of any warrant units.
The descriptions of the warrants in this prospectus and in any prospectus supplement are summaries of the material provisions of the applicable warrant agreements. These descriptions do not restate those agreements in their entirety and do not contain all of the information that you may find useful. We urge you to read the applicable agreements because they, and not the summaries, define many of your rights as holders of the warrants or any warrant units. For more information, please review the form of the relevant agreements, which will be filed with the SEC promptly after the offering of warrants or warrant units and will be available as described under the heading “Where You Can Find Additional Information.”
We may issue debt securities, in one or more series, as either senior or subordinated debt or as senior or subordinated convertible debt. The senior debt securities will rank equally with any other unsubordinated debt that we may have and may be secured or unsecured. The subordinated debt securities will be subordinate and junior in right of payment, to the extent and in the manner described in the instrument governing the debt, to all or some portion of our senior indebtedness. Any convertible debt securities that we may issue will be convertible into or exchangeable for common stock, preferred stock or other securities of ours or of a third party. Conversion may be mandatory or at your option and would be at prescribed conversion rates.
The debt securities will be issued under one or more indentures between us and U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee. While the terms we have summarized below will apply generally to any debt securities that we may offer under this prospectus, we will describe the particular terms of any debt securities that we may offer in more detail in a prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus).
We will issue the senior notes under the senior indenture which we will enter into with the trustee. We will issue the subordinated notes under the subordinated indenture which we will enter into with the trustee. We have filed forms of these documents as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. We use the term “indentures” to refer to both the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture.
The indentures will be qualified under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended.
The following summaries of the material provisions of the senior notes, the subordinated notes and the indentures, together with the additional information we may include in any applicable prospectus supplements, does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, all of the provisions of the forms of indenture filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is part, as it may be supplemented, amended or modified from time to time, as well as the indentures, notes and supplemental agreements relating to each series of debt securities that will be incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement that includes this prospectus or as exhibits to a current report on Form 8-K if we offer debt securities. You should read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the series of debt securities being offered, as well as the complete indentures that contain the terms of the debt securities. Except as we may otherwise indicate, the terms of the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture are identical.
The following are some of the terms relating to a series of debt securities that could be described in a prospectus supplement:
|●||principal amount being offered, and, if a series, the total amount authorized and the total amount outstanding;|
|●||any limit on the amount that may be issued;|
|●||whether we will issue the series of debt securities in global form and, if so, the terms and who the depositary will be;|
|●||principal amount due at maturity, and whether the debt securities will be issued with any original issue discount;|
|●||whether and under what circumstances, if any, we will pay additional amounts on any debt securities held by a person who is not a United States person for tax purposes, and whether we can redeem the debt securities if we have to pay such additional amounts;|
|●||annual interest rate, which may be fixed or variable, or the method for determining the rate, the date interest will begin to accrue, the dates interest will be payable and the regular record dates for interest payment dates or the method for determining such dates;|
|●||whether the debt securities will be secured or unsecured, and the terms of any secured debt;|
|●||terms of the subordination of any series of subordinated debt;|
|●||place where payments will be payable;|
|●||restrictions on transfer, sale or other assignment, if any;|
|●||our right, if any, to defer payment of interest and the maximum length of any such deferral period;|
|●||date, if any, after which, the conditions upon which, and the price at which we may, at our option, redeem the series of debt securities pursuant to any optional or provisional redemption provisions, and any other applicable terms of those redemption provisions;|
|●||provisions for a sinking fund, purchase or other analogous fund, if any;|
|●||date, if any, on which, and the price at which we are obligated, pursuant to any mandatory sinking fund or analogous fund provisions or otherwise, to redeem, or at the holder’s option to purchase, the series of debt securities;|
|●||whether the indenture will restrict our ability or the ability of our subsidiaries to:|
|o||incur additional indebtedness;|
|o||issue additional securities;|
|o||pay dividends or make distributions in respect of our capital stock or the capital stock of our subsidiaries;|
|o||redeem capital stock;|
|o||place restrictions on our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends, make distributions or transfer assets;|
|o||make investments or other restricted payments;|
|o||sell or otherwise dispose of assets;|
|o||enter into sale-leaseback transactions;|
|o||engage in transactions with shareholders or affiliates;|
|o||issue or sell stock of our subsidiaries; or|
|o||effect a consolidation or merger;|
|●||whether the indenture will require us to maintain any interest coverage, fixed charge, cash flow-based, asset-based or other financial ratios;|
|●||a discussion of any material or special United States federal income tax considerations applicable to the debt securities;|
|●||information describing any book-entry features;|
|●||procedures for any auction or remarketing, if any;|
|●||whether the debt securities are to be offered at a price such that they will be deemed to be offered at an “original issue discount” as defined in paragraph (a) of Section 1273 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;|
|●||denominations in which we will issue the series of debt securities, if other than denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiple of $1,000 in excess thereof;|
|●||if other than dollars, the currency in which the series of debt securities will be denominated; and|
|●||any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of, or restrictions on, the debt securities, including any events of default that are in addition to those described in this prospectus or any covenants provided with respect to the debt securities that are in addition to those described above, and any terms that may be required by us or advisable under applicable laws or regulations or advisable in connection with the marketing of the debt securities.|
Conversion or Exchange Rights
We will set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus the terms on which a series of debt securities may be convertible into or exchangeable for common stock, preferred stock or other securities of ours, including the conversion or exchange rate, as applicable, or how it will be calculated, and the applicable conversion or exchange period. We will include provisions as to whether conversion or exchange is mandatory, at the option of the holder or at our option. We may include provisions pursuant to which the number of our securities that the holders of the series of debt securities receive upon conversion or exchange would, under the circumstances described in those provisions, be subject to adjustment, or pursuant to which those holders would, under those circumstances, receive other property upon conversion or exchange, for example in the event of our merger or consolidation with another entity.
Consolidation, Merger or Sale
The terms of any securities that we may offer pursuant to this prospectus may limit our ability to merge or consolidate or otherwise sell, convey, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets, which terms would be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement and supplemental indenture. Any successor of ours or acquiror of such assets would have to assume all of our obligations under the indentures and the debt securities, as appropriate.
If the debt securities are convertible for our other securities, the person with whom we consolidate or merge or to whom we sell all of our property would have to make provisions for the conversion of the debt securities into securities that the holders of the debt securities would have received if they had converted the debt securities before the consolidation, merger or sale.
Events of Default Under the Indenture
The following are events of default under the indentures to be filed as exhibits to an amendment to the registration statement with respect to any series of debt securities that we may issue:
|●||if we fail to pay interest when due and payable and our failure continues for 30 days and the time for payment has not been extended or deferred;|
|●||if we fail to pay the principal or premium, if any, when due and payable and the time for payment has not been extended or deferred;|
|●||if we fail to observe or perform any other covenant contained in the debt securities or the indentures, and our failure continues for 60 days after we receive notice from the trustee or holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of the applicable series; and|
|●||if specified events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur.|
If an event of default with respect to debt securities of any series occurs and is continuing, other than an event of default specified in the last bullet point above, the trustee or the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series, by notice to us in writing, and to the trustee if notice is given by such holders, may declare the unpaid principal of, premium, if any, and accrued interest, if any, due and payable immediately. If an event of default specified in the last bullet point above occurs with respect to us, the principal amount of and accrued interest, if any, of each issue of debt securities then outstanding would be due and payable without any notice or other action on the part of the trustee or any holder.
The holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of an affected series may waive any default or event of default with respect to the series and its consequences, except defaults or events of default regarding payment of principal, premium, if any, or interest, unless we have cured the default or event of default in accordance with the indenture. Any waiver shall cure the default or event of default.
Subject to the terms of the indentures, if an event of default under an indenture occurs and continues, the trustee would be under no obligation to exercise any of its rights or powers under such indenture at the request or direction of any of the holders of the applicable series of debt securities, unless such holders have offered the trustee indemnity satisfactory to the trustee. The holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series will have the right to direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the trustee, or exercising any trust or power conferred on the trustee, with respect to the debt securities of that series, provided that:
|●||the direction so given by the holder is not in conflict with any law or the applicable indenture, nor subject the trustee to a risk of personal liability in respect of which the trustee has not received indemnification satisfactory to it in its sole discretion against all losses, liabilities and expenses caused by taking or not taking such action; and|
|●||the trustee may take any other action deemed proper by the trustee which is not inconsistent with such direction.|
A holder of the debt securities of any series will have the right to institute a proceeding under the indentures or to appoint a receiver or trustee, or to seek other remedies only if:
|●||the holder has given written notice to the trustee of a continuing event of default with respect to that series;|
|●||the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series have made written request, and such holders have offered indemnity satisfactory to the trustee to institute the proceeding as trustee; and|
|●||the trustee does not institute the proceeding, and does not receive from the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series other conflicting directions within 60 days after the notice, request and offer.|
These limitations do not apply to a suit instituted by a holder of debt securities if we default in the payment of the principal, premium, if any, or interest on, the debt securities.
We will periodically file statements with the trustee regarding our compliance with specified covenants in the indentures.
We and the trustee may from time to time and at any time enter into an indenture or supplemental indenture without the consent of any holders for one or more of the following purposes:
|●||to evidence the succession of another corporation, and the assumption by the successor corporation of our covenants, agreements and obligations under the indenture and debt securities;|
|●||to add to our covenants such new covenants, restrictions, conditions or provisions for the protection of the holders, and to make the occurrence, or the occurrence and continuance, of a default in any of such additional covenants, restrictions, conditions or provisions an event of default;|
|●||to modify, eliminate or add to any of the provisions of the indenture to such extent as necessary to effect the qualification of the indenture under the Trust Indenture Act, and to add to the indenture such other provisions as may be expressly permitted by the Trust Indenture Act, excluding however, the provisions referred to in Section 316(a)(2) of the Trust Indenture Act;|
|●||to cure any ambiguity or to correct or supplement any provision contained in the indenture or in any supplemental indenture which may be defective or inconsistent with other provisions;|
|●||to make provisions in regard to matters or questions arising under the indenture, so long such other provisions to do not adversely affect the interest of any other holder of debt securities in any material respect;|
|●||to secure any series of security;|
|●||to evidence and provide for the acceptance and appointment of a successor trustee and to add or change any provisions of the indenture as necessary to provide for or facilitate the administration of the trust by more than one trustee; and|
|●||to establish the form or terms of securities of any series as permitted under the indenture, including any subordination provisions.|
In addition, we and the trustee, with the consent of the holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal of the outstanding debt securities of each series that is affected, may from time to time and at any time enter into an indenture or supplemental indenture for the purpose of adding any provisions to or changing in any manner the rights of the holders of the securities of such series and any related coupons of the indenture, provided that no such supplemental indenture shall:
|●||extend the fixed maturity of any securities, or reduce the principal amount thereof or premium, if any, or reduce the rate or extend the time of payment of interest, without the extent of the holder so affected;|
|●||reduce the aforesaid percentage of securities, the consent of the holders of which is required for any such supplemental indenture, without the consent of all holders of outstanding series of debt securities; or|
|●||modify any of the above provisions.|
Each indenture will provide that we can elect to be discharged from our obligations with respect to one or more series of debt securities, except for specified obligations, including obligations to:
|●||register the transfer or exchange of debt securities of the series;|
|●||replace stolen, lost or mutilated debt securities of the series;|
|●||maintain paying agencies; and|
|●||hold monies for payment in trust.|
In order to exercise our rights to be discharged, we must deposit with the trustee money or government obligations, or a combination thereof, sufficient to pay all the principal of, any premium and interest on, the debt securities of the series on the dates payments are due.
Form, Exchange and Transfer
We will issue the debt securities of each series only in fully registered form without coupons and, unless we otherwise specify in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, in denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiple of $1,000 in excess thereof. The indentures will provide that we may issue debt securities of a series in temporary or permanent global form and as book-entry securities that will be deposited with, or on behalf of, The Depository Trust Company or another depositary named by us and identified in a prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus with respect to that series.
At the option of the holder, subject to the terms of the indentures and the limitations applicable to global securities described in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, the holder of the debt securities of any series can exchange the debt securities for other debt securities of the same series, in any authorized denomination and of like tenor and aggregate principal amount.
Subject to the terms of the indentures and the limitations applicable to global securities set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, holders of the debt securities may present the debt securities for exchange or for registration of transfer, duly endorsed or with the form of transfer endorsed thereon duly executed if so required by us or the security registrar, at the office of the security registrar or at the office of any transfer agent designated by us for this purpose. Unless otherwise provided in the debt securities that the holder presents for transfer or exchange, we will make no service charge for any registration of transfer or exchange, but we may require payment of any taxes or other governmental charges.
We will name in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus the security registrar, and any transfer agent in addition to the security registrar, that we initially designate for any debt securities. We may at any time designate additional transfer agents or rescind the designation of any transfer agent or approve a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts, except that we will be required to maintain a transfer agent in each place of payment for the debt securities of each series.
If we elect to redeem the debt securities of any series, we will not be required to:
|●||issue, register the transfer of, or exchange any debt securities of any series being redeemed in part during a period beginning at the opening of business 15 days before the day of sending of a notice of redemption of any debt securities that may be selected for redemption and ending at the close of business on the day of such transmission; or|
|●||register the transfer of or exchange any debt securities so selected for redemption, in whole or in part, except the unredeemed portion of any debt securities we are redeeming in part.|
Information Concerning the Trustee
The trustee, other than during the occurrence and continuance of an event of default under an indenture, undertakes to perform only those duties as are specifically set forth in the applicable indenture. Upon an event of default under an indenture, the trustee must use the same degree of care as a prudent person would exercise or use in the conduct of his or her own affairs. Subject to this provision, the trustee is under no obligation to exercise any of the powers given it by an indenture at the request of any holder of debt securities unless it is offered security and indemnity against the costs, expenses and liabilities that it might incur.
Payment and Paying Agents
Unless we otherwise indicate in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, we will make payment of the interest on any debt securities on any interest payment date to the person in whose name the debt securities, or one or more predecessor securities, are registered at the close of business on the regular record date for the interest.
We will pay principal of and any premium and interest on the debt securities of a particular series at the office of the paying agents designated by us, except that, unless we otherwise indicate in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, we may make interest payments by check which we will mail to the holder or by wire transfer to certain holders. Unless we otherwise indicate in a prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, we will designate an office or agency of the trustee in the contiguous United States as our sole paying agent for payments with respect to debt securities of each series. We will name in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus any other paying agents that we initially designate for the debt securities of a particular series. We will maintain a paying agent in each place of payment for the debt securities of a particular series.
All money we pay to a paying agent or the trustee for the payment of the principal of or any premium or interest on any debt securities which remains unclaimed at the end of two years after such principal, premium or interest has become due and payable will be repaid to us, and the holder of the debt security thereafter may look only to us for payment thereof.
The indentures and the debt securities will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, except to the extent that the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 is applicable.
Subordination of Subordinated Debt Securities
The subordinated debt securities will be subordinate and junior in priority of payment to certain of our other indebtedness to the extent described in a prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus. The indentures in the forms initially filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part do not limit the amount of indebtedness which we may incur, including senior indebtedness or subordinated indebtedness, and do not limit us from issuing any other debt, including secured debt or unsecured debt.
As specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may issue units comprised of one or more of the other securities described in this prospectus in any combination. Each unit will be issued so that the holder of the unit is also the holder of each security included in the unit. Thus, the holder of a unit will have the rights and obligations of a holder of each included security. The prospectus supplement will describe:
|●||the designation and terms of the units and of the securities comprising the units, including whether and under what circumstances the securities comprising the units may be held or transferred separately;|
|●||the terms of any unit agreement governing the units;|
|●||the provisions for the payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units;|
|●||material federal income tax considerations, if applicable; and|
|●||whether the units will be issued in fully registered or global form.|
The descriptions of the units and any applicable underlying security or pledge arrangements in this prospectus and in any prospectus supplement are summaries of the material provisions of the applicable agreements. These descriptions do not restate those agreements in their entirety and may not contain all the information that you may find useful. We urge you to read the applicable agreements because they, and not the summaries, define many of your rights as holders of the units. For more information, please review the form of the relevant agreements, which will be filed with the SEC promptly after the offering of units and will be available as described under the heading “Where You Can Find Additional Information.”
Securities Offered by Us
We may sell the securities from time to time pursuant to underwritten public offerings, negotiated transactions, block trades, “at the market” offerings as defined in Rule 415 promulgated under the Securities Act or a combination of these methods. We may sell the securities to or through underwriters or dealers, through agents, or directly to one or more purchasers.
We may distribute securities from time to time in one or more transactions:
|●||at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed;|
|●||at market prices prevailing at the time of sale;|
|●||at prices related to such prevailing market prices; or|
|●||at negotiated prices.|
Unless stated otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the obligations of any underwriter to purchase securities will be subject to certain conditions, and an underwriter will be obligated to purchase all of the applicable securities if any are purchased. If a dealer is used in a sale, we may sell the securities to the dealer as principal. The dealer may then resell the securities to the public at varying prices to be determined by the dealer at the time of resale.
We or our agents may solicit offers to purchase securities from time to time. Unless stated otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, any agent will be acting on a best efforts basis for the period of its appointment.
In connection with the sale of securities, underwriters or agents may receive compensation (in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions) from us or from purchasers of securities for whom they may act as agents. Underwriters may sell securities to or through dealers, and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or commissions from the purchasers for whom they may act as agents. Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in the distribution of securities may be deemed to be underwriters, as that term is defined in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and any discounts or commissions received by them from us and any profits on the resale of the securities by them may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. We will identify any such underwriter or agent, and we will describe any compensation paid to them, in the related prospectus supplement.
Underwriters, dealers and agents may be entitled under agreements with us to indemnification against and contribution toward certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.
If stated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will authorize agents and underwriters to solicit offers by certain specified institutions or other persons to purchase securities at the public offering price set forth in the prospectus supplement under delayed delivery contracts providing for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. Institutions with which these contracts may be made include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies, educational and charitable institutions, and other institutions, but shall in all cases be subject to our approval. These contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement and the applicable prospectus supplement will set forth the commission payable for solicitation of these contracts. The obligations of any purchaser under any such contract will be subject to the condition that the purchase of the securities shall not be prohibited at the time of delivery under the laws of the jurisdiction to which the purchaser is subject. The underwriters and other agents will not have any responsibility in respect of the validity or performance of these contracts.
There is no established trading market for any security other than our common stock, which is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol “RILY”, our 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021, listed on NASDAQ under the symbol “RILYL”, our 7.50% Senior Notes due 2027, listed on NASDAQ under the symbol “RILYZ”, and our 7.25% Senior notes due 2027, listed on NASDAQ under the symbol “RILYG”. The securities issued under this registration statement may or may not be listed on a national securities exchange or traded in the over-the-counter market, as set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. No assurance can be given as to the liquidity of the trading market for any of our securities. Any underwriter may make a market in these securities. However, no underwriter will be obligated to do so, and any underwriter may discontinue any market making at any time, without prior notice.
If underwriters or dealers are used in the sale, until the distribution of the securities is completed, SEC rules may limit the ability of any underwriters and selling group members to bid for and purchase the securities. As an exception to these rules, representatives of any underwriters are permitted to engage in certain transactions that stabilize the price of the securities. These transactions may consist of bids or purchases for the purpose of pegging, fixing or maintaining the price of the securities. If the underwriters create a short position in the applicable securities in connection with any offering (in other words, if they sell more securities than are set forth on the cover page of the applicable prospectus supplement) the representatives of the underwriters may reduce that short position by purchasing securities in the open market. The representatives of the underwriters may also elect to reduce any short position by exercising all or part of any over-allotment option we may grant to the underwriters, as described in the prospectus supplement. The representatives of the underwriters may also impose a penalty bid on certain underwriters and selling group members. This means that if the representatives purchase securities in the open market to reduce the underwriters’ short position or to stabilize the price of the securities, they may reclaim the amount of the selling concession from the underwriters and selling group members who sold those shares as part of the offering.
In general, purchases of a security for the purpose of stabilization or to reduce a short position could cause the price of the security to be higher than it might be in the absence of those purchases. The imposition of a penalty bid might also have an effect on the price of the securities to the extent that it discourages resales of the securities. The transactions described above may have the effect of causing the price of the securities to be higher than it would otherwise be. If commenced, the representatives of the underwriters may discontinue any of the transactions at any time. In addition, the representatives of any underwriters may determine not to engage in those transactions or that those transactions, once commenced, may be discontinued without notice.
Certain of the underwriters or agents and their associates may engage in transactions with and perform services for us or our affiliates in the ordinary course of their respective businesses.
In no event will the commission or discount received by any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) member or independent broker-dealer participating in a distribution of securities exceed eight percent of the aggregate principal amount of the offering of securities in which that FINRA member or independent broker-dealer participates.
Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Diego, California, has passed upon the validity of the securities to be offered pursuant to this prospectus.
Marcum LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, has audited our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, as well as the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, as stated in its report incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and such audited consolidated financial statements have been incorporated by reference into this prospectus in reliance upon the report of such firm given upon its authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
The consolidated financial statements of FBR & Co. and its subsidiaries as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2016 and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 incorporated by reference in this prospectus have been so incorporated in reliance on the reports of BDO USA, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated herein by reference, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.
The consolidated financial statements of magicJack VocalTec Ltd. as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017 and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017 incorporated by reference in this prospectus have been so incorporated in reliance on the reports of BDO USA, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated herein by reference, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any document that we file at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549, on official business days during the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the Public Reference Room. All filings we make with the SEC are also available on the SEC’s web site at http://www.sec.gov. Our website addresses are http://www.greatamerican.com, http://www.brileyfin.com and http://www.unitedonline.net. We have not incorporated by reference into this prospectus the information on our websites, and you should not consider it to be a part of this document.
We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act with respect to the securities being offered by this prospectus. This prospectus is part of that registration statement. This prospectus does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement or the exhibits to the registration statement. For further information with respect to us and the securities we are offering pursuant to this prospectus, you should refer to the complete registration statement, its exhibits and the information incorporated by reference in the registration statement. Statements contained in this prospectus as to the contents of any contract, agreement or other document referred to are not necessarily complete, and you should refer to the copy of that contract or other documents filed as an exhibit to the registration statement. You may read or obtain a copy of the registration statement at the SEC’s public reference room and website referred to above.
For purposes of this prospectus, the SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” certain information we have filed with the SEC, which means that we are disclosing important information to you by referring you to other information we have filed with the SEC. The information we incorporate by reference is considered part of this prospectus. We specifically are incorporating by reference the following documents filed with the SEC (excluding those portions of any Current Report on Form 8-K that are not deemed “filed” pursuant to the General Instructions of Form 8-K):
|●||Our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on March 14, 2018;|
|●||Our current report Form 8-K/A filed with the SEC on June 28, 2017 and our current reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on November 21, 2017, January 5, 2018, January 16, 2018 and March 20, 2018; and|
|●||Description of our common stock continued in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on July 7, 2015.|
All documents we file with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, except as to any portion of any report or documents that is not deemed filed under such provisions, (1) on or after the date of filing of the registration statement containing this prospectus and prior to the effectiveness of the registration statement and (2) on or after the date of this prospectus until the earlier of the date on which all of the securities registered hereunder have been sold or the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part has been withdrawn, shall be deemed incorporated by reference in this prospectus and to be a part of this prospectus from the date of filing of those documents.
These reports and documents can be accessed free of charge on our website http://www.brileyfin.com by clicking on “Investor Relations” and then clicking on “SEC Filings.” We will provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus is delivered, upon written or oral request, a copy of any or all documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus, but not delivered with the prospectus, other than exhibits to such documents unless such exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference into the documents that this prospectus incorporates. Please send written requests to:
21255 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 400
Woodland Hills, California 91367
Attn.: Chief Financial Officer
You should rely only on the information incorporated by reference or provided in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone else to provide you with different information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front page of those documents.
% Senior Notes due 2023
|B. Riley FBR||Ladenburg Thalmann||Incapital|
|Boenning & Scattergood, Inc.||Wedbush Securities||William Blair|