Ares Capital Corp was founded on April 16, 2004 and completed its initial public offering on October 8, 2004. It is a specialty finance company that is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. Its investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. It invests in U.S. middle-market companies, where the supply of primary capital is limited and the investment opportunities are attractive. It also invests in first lien senior secured loans, second lien senior secured loans and mezzanine debt, which in some cases includes an equity component like warrants. Its competitors include public and private funds, commercial and investment banks, commercial finance companies, other BDCs and private equity funds. The Company and its portfolio companies are subject to regulation by laws and regulations at the local, state, federal and, in some cases, foreign levels.