American Capital Ltd was founded in 1986 and incorporated in Delaware. On August 29, 1997, it completed an initial public offering and became a non-diversified closed end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. It is an asset management and private equity firm. The Company originates, underwrites and manages investments in middle market private equity, leveraged finance, real estate, energy and structured products. It primarily invests in senior and mezzanine debt and equity in buyouts of private companies sponsored by it or sponsored by other private equity funds and provide capital directly to early stage and mature private and small public companies. Its primary business objectives are to increase its net earnings and net asset value by making investments with attractive current yields and/or potential for equity appreciation and realized gains. Its investments can be divided into the following six business lines: American Capital One Stop Buyouts, Sponsor Finance Investments, Direct and Other Investments, European Capital, Asset Management and Structured Products. The Company competes with strategic buyers, private equity funds, mezzanine debt funds and other buyers and financing sources, including traditional financial services companies such as finance companies, commercial banks, investment banks and other equity and non-equity based investment funds. The Company and its portfolio companies are subject to regulation by laws at the local, state, federal and foreign level, including with respect to securities laws, tax and accounting standards.