SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2014 OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM TO
Commission File Number: 001-35107
APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT, LLC
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
9 West 57th Street, 43rd Floor
New York, New York 10019
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A shares representing limited liability company interests
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
o (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No T
The aggregate market value of the Class A shares of the Registrant held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2014 was approximately $4,303.2 million, which includes non-voting Class A shares with a value of approximately $1,246.5 million.
As of February 26, 2015 there were 167,899,419 Class A shares and 1 Class B share outstanding.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
UNAUDITED SUPPLEMENTAL PRESENTATION OF STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION
CHANGES AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS
CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS
PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES
EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES
This report may contain forward-looking statements that are within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These statements include, but are not limited to, discussions related to Apollo’s expectations regarding the performance of its business, liquidity and capital resources and the other non-historical statements in the discussion and analysis. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. When used in this report, the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including risks relating to our dependence on certain key personnel, our ability to raise new private equity, credit or real estate funds, market conditions generally, our ability to manage our growth, fund performance, changes in our regulatory environment and tax status, the variability of our revenues, net income and cash flow, our use of leverage to finance our businesses and investments by our funds and litigation risks, among others. We believe these factors include but are not limited to those described under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this report; as such factors may be updated from time to time in our periodic filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this report and in our other filings. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Terms Used in This Report
In this report, references to “Apollo,” “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Company” refer collectively to Apollo Global Management, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and its subsidiaries, including the Apollo Operating Group and all of its subsidiaries, or as the context may otherwise require;
“AMH” refers to Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, that is an indirect subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, LLC;
“Apollo funds”, “our funds” and references to the "funds" we manage, refer to the funds, partnerships, accounts, including strategic investment accounts or "SIAs," alternative asset companies and other entities for which subsidiaries of the Apollo Operating Group provide investment management services;
“Apollo Operating Group” refers to (i) the limited partnerships through which our Managing Partners currently operate our businesses and (ii) one or more limited partnerships formed for the purpose of, among other activities, holding certain of our gains or losses on our principal investments in the funds, which we refer to as our "principal investments";
“Assets Under Management,” or “AUM,” refers to the assets we manage for the funds, partnerships and accounts for which we provide investment management services, including, without limitation, capital which such funds, partnerships and accounts have the right to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments. Our AUM equals the sum of:
the fair value of the investments of the private equity funds, partnerships and accounts we manage plus the capital which such funds, partnerships and accounts are entitled to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments;
the net asset value, or “NAV,” of the credit funds, partnerships and accounts for which we provide investment management services, other than certain collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which have a fee generating basis other than the mark-to-market value of the underlying assets, plus used or available leverage and/or capital which such funds, partnerships and accounts are entitled to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments;
the gross asset value or net asset value of the real estate funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, and the structured portfolio company investments of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, which includes the leverage used by such structured portfolio company investments;
the incremental value associated with the reinsurance investments of the portfolio company assets that we manage; and
the fair value of any other assets that we manage for the funds, partnerships and accounts for which we provide investment management services, plus unused credit facilities,
including capital commitments to such funds, partnerships and accounts for investments that may require pre-qualification before investment plus any other capital commitments to such funds, partnerships and accounts available for investment that are not otherwise included in the clauses above.
Our AUM measure includes Assets Under Management for which we charge either no or nominal fees. Our definition of AUM is not based on any definition of Assets Under Management contained in our operating agreement or in any of our Apollo fund management agreements. We consider multiple factors for determining what should be included in our definition of AUM. Such factors include but are not limited to (1) our ability to influence the investment decisions for existing and available assets; (2) our ability to generate income from the underlying assets in our funds; and (3) the AUM measures that we use internally or believe are used by other investment managers. Given the differences in the investment strategies and structures among other alternative investment managers, our calculation of AUM may differ from the calculations employed by other investment managers and, as a result, this measure may not be directly comparable to similar measures presented by other investment managers;
"Fee-Generating AUM" consists of assets we manage for the funds, partnerships and accounts for which we provide investment management services and on which we earn management fees or, monitoring fees pursuant to management or other fee agreements on a basis that varies among the Apollo funds, partnerships and accounts we manage. Management fees are normally based on “net asset value,” “gross assets,” “adjusted par asset value,” “adjusted cost of all unrealized portfolio investments,” “capital commitments,” “adjusted assets,” “stockholders’ equity,” “invested capital” or “capital contributions,” each as defined in the applicable management agreement. Monitoring fees, also referred to as advisory fees, with respect to investments of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage are generally based on the total value of such structured portfolio investments, which normally include leverage, less any portion of such total value that is already considered in Fee-Generating AUM.
"Non-Fee Generating AUM" consists of assets that do not produce management fees or monitoring fees. These assets generally consist of the following:
fair value above invested capital for those funds that earn management fees based on invested capital;
net asset values related to general partner and co-investment ownership;
unused credit facilities;
available commitments on those funds that generate management fees on invested capital;
structured portfolio company investments that do not generate monitoring fees; and
the difference between gross asset and net asset value for those funds that earn management fees based on net asset value.
"Carry Eligible AUM" refers to the AUM that may eventually produce carried interest income. All funds for which we are
entitled to receive a carried interest income allocation are included in Carry Eligible AUM, which consists of the following:
"Carry Generating AUM," which refers to funds' invested capital that is currently above its hurdle rate or preferred return, and the funds' profit is allocated to the general partner in accordance with the applicable limited partnership agreements or other governing agreements;
"AUM Not Currently Generating Carry," which refers to funds' invested capital that is currently below its hurdle rate or preferred return; and
"Uninvested Carry Eligible AUM," which refers to available capital for investment or reinvestment subject to the provisions of applicable limited partnership agreements or other governing agreements that are not currently part of the NAV or fair value of investments that may eventually produce carried interest income, which would be allocated to the general partner.
"AUM with Future Management Fee Potential" refers to the committed uninvested capital portion of total AUM not
currently earning management fees. The amount depends on the specific terms and conditions of each fund.
We use Non-Fee Generating AUM combined with Fee-Generating AUM as a performance measure of our funds' investment activities, as well as to monitor fund size in relation to professional resource and infrastructure needs. Non-Fee Generating AUM includes assets on which we could earn carried interest income;
“carried interest,” “carried interest income,” and “incentive income” refer to interests granted to Apollo by an Apollo fund that entitle Apollo to receive allocations, distributions or fees which are based on the performance of such fund or its underlying investments;
“Contributing Partners” refer to those of our partners and their related parties (other than our Managing Partners) who indirectly beneficially own (through Holdings) Apollo Operating Group units;
“feeder funds” refer to funds that operate by placing substantially all of their assets in, and conducting substantially all of their investment and trading activities through, a master fund, which is designed to facilitate collective investment by the participating feeder funds. With respect to certain of our funds that are organized in a master-feeder structure, the feeder funds are permitted to make investments outside the master fund when deemed appropriate by the fund’s investment manager;
“gross IRR” of a private equity fund represents the cumulative investment-related cash flows in the fund itself (and not the investors in the fund) on the basis of the actual timing of investment inflows and outflows (for unrealized investments assuming disposition on December 31, 2014 or other date specified) aggregated on a gross basis quarterly, and the return is annualized and compounded before management fees, carried interest and certain other fund expenses (including interest incurred by the fund itself) and measures the returns on the fund’s investments as a whole without regard to whether all of the returns would, if distributed, be payable to the fund’s investors;
“Holdings” means AP Professional Holdings, L.P., a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership through which our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners indirectly beneficially own their interests in the Apollo Operating Group units;
"IRS" refers to the Internal Revenue Service;
“Managing Partners” refer to Messrs. Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan collectively and, when used in reference to holdings of interests in Apollo or Holdings, includes certain related parties of such individuals;
“net IRR” of a private equity fund means the cumulative investment-related cash flows to the fund itself (and not to the investors in the fund) on the basis of the actual timing of cash inflows and outflows aggregated on a quarterly basis, less expenses (management fees, carried interest and certain other fund expenses). For the calculation of Net IRR the realized and estimated unrealized value is adjusted such that a percentage generally of up to 20.0% of the unrealized gain is allocated to the general partner, thereby reducing the balance attributable to fund investors' carried interest all offset to the extent of interest income, and measures returns based on amounts that, if distributed, would be paid to investors of the fund, to the extent that a private equity fund exceeds all requirements detailed within the applicable fund agreement;
“net return” represents the calculated return that is based on month-to-month changes in net assets and is calculated using the returns that have been geometrically linked based on capital contributions, distributions and dividend reinvestments, as applicable;
“our manager” means AGM Management, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company that is controlled by our Managing Partners;
“permanent capital” means (a) assets that are owned by or related to Athene Holding Ltd. ("Athene Holding") and its subsidiaries (collectively, "Athene") and managed by Athene Asset Management, L.P. and (b) assets of publicly traded vehicles managed by Apollo (such as AP Alternative Assets, L.P. ("AAA"), Apollo Investment Corporation ("AINV"), Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. ("ARI"), Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. ("AMTG"), Apollo Tactical Income Fund Inc. ("AIF"), and Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund Inc. ("AFT"), in each case that do not have redemption provisions or a requirement to return capital to investors upon exiting the investments made with such capital, except as required by applicable law.
“private equity investments” refer to (i) direct or indirect investments in existing and future private equity funds managed or sponsored by Apollo, (ii) direct or indirect co-investments with existing and future private equity funds managed or sponsored by Apollo, (iii) direct or indirect investments in securities which are not immediately capable of resale in a public market that Apollo identifies but does not pursue through its private equity funds, and (iv) investments of the type described in (i) through (iii) above made by Apollo funds; and
“Strategic Investors” refer to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or “CalPERS,” and an affiliate of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, or “ADIA.”
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Founded in 1990, Apollo is a leading global alternative investment manager. We are a contrarian, value-oriented investment manager in private equity, credit and real estate, with significant distressed investment expertise. We have a flexible mandate in many of the funds we manage which enables our funds to invest opportunistically across a company’s capital structure. We raise, invest and manage funds on behalf of some of the world’s most prominent pension, endowment and sovereign wealth funds, as well as other institutional and individual investors. As of December 31, 2014, we had total AUM of $160 billion, including approximately $41 billion in private equity, $108 billion in credit and $10 billion in real estate. We have consistently produced attractive long-term investment returns in our private equity funds, generating a 39% gross IRR and a 25% net IRR on a compound annual basis from inception through December 31, 2014.
Apollo is led by our Managing Partners, Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, who have worked together for more than 24 years and lead a team of 845 employees, including 320 investment professionals, as of December 31, 2014. This team possesses a broad range of transaction, financial, managerial and investment skills. We have offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Bethesda, Chicago, Toronto, London, Singapore, Frankfurt, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Luxembourg. We operate our private equity, credit and real estate investment management businesses in a highly integrated manner, which we believe distinguishes us from other alternative investment managers. Our investment professionals frequently collaborate across disciplines. We believe that this collaboration, including market insight, management, banking and consultant contacts, and investment opportunities, enables the funds we manage to more successfully invest across a company’s capital structure. This platform and the depth and experience of our investment team have enabled us to deliver strong long-term investment performance for our funds throughout a range of economic cycles.
Our objective is to achieve superior long-term risk-adjusted returns for our fund investors. The majority of the investment funds we manage are designed to invest capital over periods of seven or more years from inception, thereby allowing us to generate attractive long-term returns throughout economic cycles. Our investment approach is value-oriented, focusing on nine core industries in which we have considerable knowledge and experience, and emphasizing downside protection and the preservation of capital. Our core industry sectors include chemicals, natural resources, consumer and retail, distribution and transportation, financial and business services, manufacturing and industrial, media and cable and leisure, packaging and materials and the satellite and wireless industries. Our contrarian investment management approach is reflected in a number of ways, including:
our willingness to pursue investments in industries that our competitors typically avoid;
the often complex structures employed in some of the investments of our funds, including our willingness to pursue difficult corporate carve-out transactions;
our experience investing during periods of uncertainty or distress in the economy or financial markets when many of our competitors simply reduce their investment activity;
our orientation towards sole sponsored transactions when other firms have opted to partner with others; and
our willingness to undertake transactions that have substantial business, regulatory or legal complexity.
We have applied this investment philosophy to identify what we believe are attractive investment opportunities, deploy capital across the balance sheet of industry leading, or “franchise,” businesses and create value throughout economic cycles.
We rely on our deep industry, credit and financial structuring experience, coupled with our strengths as a value-oriented, distressed investment manager, to deploy significant amounts of new capital within challenging economic environments. Our approach towards investing in distressed situations often requires our funds to purchase particular debt securities as prices are declining, since this allows us both to reduce our funds’ average cost and accumulate sizable positions which may enhance our ability to influence any restructuring plans and maximize the value of our funds’ distressed investments. As a result, our investment approach may produce negative short-term unrealized returns in certain of the funds we manage. However, we concentrate on generating attractive, long-term, risk-adjusted realized returns for our fund investors, and we therefore do not overly depend on short-term results and quarterly fluctuations in the unrealized fair value of the holdings in our funds.
In addition to deploying capital in new investments, we seek to enhance value in the investment portfolios of the funds we manage. We have relied on our transaction, restructuring and credit experience to work proactively with our private equity funds’ portfolio company management teams to identify and execute strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and other transactions, generate cost and working capital savings, reduce capital expenditures, and optimize capital structures through several means such as debt exchange offers and the purchase of portfolio company debt at discounts to par value.
We have grown our total AUM at a 30% compound annual growth rate from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2014. In addition, we benefit from mandates with long-term capital commitments in our private equity, credit and real estate businesses. Our long-lived capital base allows us to invest our funds' assets with a long-term focus, which is an important component in generating attractive returns for our investors. We believe the long-term capital we manage also leaves us well-positioned during economic downturns, when the fundraising environment for alternative assets has historically been more challenging than during periods of economic expansion. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 96% of our AUM was in funds with a contractual life at inception of seven years or more, and 45% of our AUM was considered permanent capital.
We expect our growth in AUM to continue over time by seeking to create value in our funds’ existing private equity, credit and real estate investments, continuing to deploy our funds’ available capital in what we believe are attractive investment opportunities, and raising new funds and investment vehicles as market opportunities present themselves. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Businesses—We may not be successful in raising new funds or in raising more capital for certain of our funds and may face pressure on fee arrangements of our future funds.”
Our financial results are highly variable, since carried interest (which generally constitutes a large portion of the income that we receive from the funds we manage), and the transaction and advisory fees that we receive, can vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. We manage our business and monitor our performance with a focus on long-term performance, an approach that is generally consistent with the investment horizons of the funds we manage and is driven by the investment returns of our funds.
Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act are made available free of charge on or through our website at www.agm.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The information on our website is not, and shall not be deemed to be, part of this report or incorporated into any other filings we make with the SEC.
We have three business segments: private equity, credit and real estate. The diagram below summarizes our current businesses:
Apollo Global Management, LLC(1)
• Distressed Buyouts, Debt and Other Investments
• Opportunistic equity investing in real estate assets, portfolios, companies and platforms
• Commercial real estate debt investments including First Mortgage and Mezzanine Loans and Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities
AUM: $41.1 billion(2)
AUM: $108.4 billion(2)(3)
AUM: $9.5 billion(2)(3)(4)
Strategic Investment Accounts(5)
Generally invests in or alongside certain Apollo funds
and other Apollo-sponsored transactions
All data is as of December 31, 2014.
See Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information.
Includes funds that are denominated in Euros and translated into U.S. dollars at an exchange rate of €1.00 to $1.21 as of December 31, 2014.
Includes funds that are denominated in pound sterling and translated into U.S. dollars at an exchange rate of £1.00 to $1.56 as of December 31, 2014.
As of December 31, 2014, there was $0.8 billion that had yet to be deployed to an Apollo fund within our three segments.
As a result of our long history of private equity investing across market cycles, we believe we have developed a unique set of skills on which we rely to make new investments and to maximize the value of our existing investments. As an example, through our experience with traditional private equity buyouts, which we also refer to herein as buyout equity, we apply a highly disciplined approach towards structuring and executing transactions, the key tenets of which include seeking to acquire companies at below industry average purchase price multiples, and establishing flexible capital structures with long-term debt maturities and few, if any, financial maintenance covenants.
We believe we have a demonstrated ability to adapt quickly to changing market environments and capitalize on market dislocations through our traditional, distressed and corporate buyout approach. In prior periods of strained financial liquidity and economic recession, our private equity funds have made attractive investments by buying the debt of quality businesses (which we refer to as “classic” distressed debt), converting that debt to equity, seeking to create value through active participation with management and ultimately monetizing the investment. This combination of traditional and corporate buyout investing with a “distressed option” has been deployed through prior economic cycles and has allowed our funds to achieve attractive long-term rates of return in different economic and market environments. In addition, during prior economic downturns we have relied on our restructuring experience and worked closely with our funds’ portfolio companies to seek to maximize the value of our funds’ investments.
We seek to focus on investment opportunities where competition is limited or non-existent. We believe we are often sought out early in the investment process because of our industry expertise, sizable amounts of available long-term capital, willingness to pursue investments in complicated situations and ability to provide value-added advice to portfolio companies regarding operational improvements, acquisitions and strategic direction. We generally prefer sole sponsored transactions and since inception through December 31, 2014, approximately 80% of the investments made by our private equity funds have been proprietary in nature. We believe that by emphasizing our proprietary sources of deal flow, our private equity funds will be able to acquire businesses at more compelling valuations which will ultimately create a more attractive risk/reward proposition.
Distressed Buyouts, Debt and Other Investments
During periods of market dislocation and volatility, we rely on our credit and capital markets expertise to build positions in distressed debt. We target assets with what we believe are high-quality operating businesses but low-quality balance sheets, consistent with our traditional buyout strategies. The distressed securities our funds purchase include bank debt, public high-yield debt and privately held instruments, often with significant downside protection in the form of a senior position in the capital structure, and in certain situations our funds also provide debtor-in-possession financing to companies in bankruptcy. Our investment professionals generate these distressed buyout and debt investment opportunities based on their many years of experience in the debt markets, and as such they are generally proprietary in nature.
We believe distressed buyouts and debt investments represent a highly attractive risk/reward profile. Our funds’ investments in debt securities have generally resulted in two outcomes. The first and preferred potential outcome, which we refer to as a distressed for control investment, is when our funds are successful in taking control of a company through its investment in the distressed debt. By working proactively through the restructuring process, we are often able to equitize the debt position of our funds to create a well-financed buyout which would then typically be held by the fund for a three-to-five year period, similar to other traditional leveraged buyout transactions. The second potential outcome, which we refer to as a non-control distressed investment is when our funds do not gain control of the company. This typically occurs as a result of an increase in the price of the debt investments to levels which are higher than what we consider to be an attractive acquisition valuation. In these instances, we may forgo seeking control, and instead our funds may seek to sell the debt investments over time, typically generating a higher short-term IRR with a lower multiple of invested capital than in the case of a typical distressed for control transaction. We believe that we are a market leader in distressed investing and that this is one of the key areas that differentiates us from our peers.
In addition to our opportunistic, distressed and corporate partner buyout activities, we also maintain the flexibility to deploy capital of our private equity funds in other types of investments such as the creation of new companies, which allows us to leverage our deep industry and distressed expertise and collaborate with experienced management teams to seek to capitalize on market opportunities that we have identified, particularly in asset-intensive industries that are in distress. In these types of situations, we have the ability to establish new entities that can acquire distressed assets at what we believe are attractive valuations without the burden of managing an existing portfolio of legacy assets. Similar to our corporate partner buyout activities, other
investments, such as the creation of new companies, historically have not represented a large portion of our overall investment activities, although our private equity funds do make these types of investments selectively.
Corporate Carve-outs are less market-dependent than distressed investing, but are equally complicated. In these transactions, Apollo funds seek to extract a business that is highly integrated within a larger corporate parent to create a stand-alone business. These are labor-intensive transactions, which we believe require deep industry knowledge, patience and creativity, to unlock value that has largely been overlooked or undermanaged. Importantly, because of the highly negotiated nature of many of these transactions, Apollo believes it is often difficult for the seller to run a competitive process, which ultimately allows Apollo funds to achieve compelling purchase prices.
We have extensive experience completing leveraged buyouts across various market cycles. We take an opportunistic and disciplined approach to these transactions, generally avoiding highly competitive situations in favor of proprietary transactions where there may be opportunities to purchase a company at a discount to prevailing market averages. Oftentimes, we will focus on complex situations such as out-of-favor industries or “broken” (or discontinued) sales processes where the inherent value may be less obvious to potential acquirers. To further alter the risk/reward profile in our funds’ favor, we often focus on certain types of buyouts such as physical asset acquisitions and investments in non-correlated assets where underlying values tend to change in a manner that is independent of broader market movements.
In the case of physical asset acquisitions, our private equity funds seek to acquire physical assets at discounts to where those assets trade in the financial markets, and to lock in that value arbitrage through comprehensive hedging and structural enhancements.
We believe buyouts of non-correlated assets or businesses also represent attractive investments since they are generally less correlated to the broader economy and provide an element of diversification to our funds' overall portfolio of private equity investments.
In the case of more conventional buyouts, we seek investment opportunities where we believe our focus on complexity and sector expertise will provide us with a significant competitive advantage, whereby we can leverage our knowledge and experience from the nine core industries in which our investment professionals have historically invested private equity capital. We believe such knowledge and experience can result in our ability to find attractive opportunities for our funds to acquire portfolio company investments at lower purchase price multiples.
In 2011, Apollo established Apollo Natural Resources Partners, L.P. (together with its alternative investment vehicles, “ANRP”), and has assembled a team of dedicated investment professionals to capitalize on private equity investment opportunities in the natural resources industry, principally in the metals and mining, energy and select other natural resources sectors.
AP Alternative Assets, L.P.
We also manage AAA, a publicly listed permanent capital vehicle. The sole investment held by AAA is its investment in AAA Investments, L.P. (“AAA Investments”). AAA Investments is the largest equity holder of Athene Holding.
AAA is a Guernsey limited partnership whose partners are comprised of (i) AAA Guernsey Limited (“AAA Guernsey”), which holds 100% of the general partner interests in AAA, and (ii) the holders of common units representing limited partner interests in AAA. The common units are non-voting and are listed on NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam under the symbol “AAA”. AAA Guernsey is a Guernsey limited company and is owned 55% by an individual who is not an affiliate of Apollo and 45% by Apollo Principal Holdings III, L.P., an indirect subsidiary of Apollo. AAA Guernsey is responsible for managing the business and affairs of AAA. AAA generally makes all of its investments through AAA Investments, of which AAA is the sole limited partner.
Athene Holding is AAA’s only material investment. As of December 31, 2014, the Company, through its consolidation of AAA, had an approximate 47.7% economic ownership interest in Athene through its investment in AAA Investments (calculated as if the commitments on the Athene Private Placement (as described in note 4 to the consolidated financial statements) closed through December 31, 2014 were fully drawn down but without giving effect to (i) restricted common shares issued under Athene’s management equity plan, or (ii) common shares to be issued under the Amended Athene Services Agreement or the Amended AAA Services Agreement (each as described in note 17 to the consolidated financial statements) subsequent to December 31, 2014). Apollo owned approximately 2.5% of AAA as of December 31, 2014.
Building Value in Portfolio Companies
We are a “hands-on” investor organized around nine core industries where we believe we have significant knowledge and expertise, and we remain actively engaged with the management teams of the portfolio companies of our private equity funds. We have established relationships with operating executives that assist in the diligence review of new opportunities and provide strategic and operational oversight for portfolio investments. We actively work with the management of each of the portfolio companies of the funds we manage to maximize the underlying value of the business. To achieve this, we take a holistic approach to value-creation, concentrating on both the asset side and liability side of the balance sheet of a company. On the asset side of the balance sheet, Apollo works with management of the portfolio companies to enhance the operations of such companies. Our investment professionals assist portfolio companies in rationalizing non-core and underperforming assets, generating cost and working capital savings, and maximizing liquidity. On the liability side of the balance sheet, Apollo relies on its deep credit structuring experience and works with management of the portfolio companies to help optimize the capital structure of such companies through proactive restructuring of the balance sheet to address near-term debt maturities. The companies in which our private equity funds invest also seek to capture discounts on publicly traded debt securities through exchange offers and potential debt buybacks. In addition, we have established a group purchasing program to help our funds' portfolio companies leverage the combined corporate spending among Apollo and portfolio companies of the funds it manages in order to seek to reduce costs, optimize payment terms and improve service levels for all program participants.
The value of the investments that have been made by our funds are typically realized through either an initial public offering of common stock on a nationally recognized exchange or through the private sale of the companies in which our funds have invested. We believe the advantage of having long-lived funds and investment discretion is that we are able to time our funds’ exit to maximize value.
Private Equity Fund Holdings
The following table presents a list of certain significant portfolio companies of our private equity funds as of December 31, 2014:
Year of Initial
Media, Cable & Leisure
Caelus Energy Alaska
Fund VIII / ANRP
Express Energy Services
Fund VIII / ANRP
Fund VIII / ANRP
American Gaming Systems
Media, Cable & Leisure
Consumer & Retail
Consumer & Retail
Media, Cable & Leisure
Media, Cable & Leisure
Fund VII & ANRP
Great Wolf Resorts
Media, Cable & Leisure
Fund VII & ANRP
Fund VII & ANRP
Financial & Business Services
Endemol Shine Group
Media, Cable & Leisure
Sprouts Farmers Markets
Consumer & Retail
Fund VII & ANRP
Gala Coral Group
Fund VII & VI
Media, Cable & Leisure
Distribution & Transportation
Media, Cable & Leisure
Media, Cable & Leisure
Norwegian Cruise Line
Fund VII / VI
Media, Cable & Leisure
Consumer & Retail
Fund VI & V
Packaging & Materials
Distribution & Transportation
Momentive Performance Materials
Fund IV, V & VI
Debt Investment Vehicles - Fund VII
Debt Investment Vehicles - Fund VI
Note: Represents portfolio companies of Fund IV, Fund V, Fund VI, Fund VII, Fund VIII and ANRP with a remaining value greater than $100 million, excluding the value associated with any portion of such private equity funds' portfolio company investments held by co-investment vehicles.
Prior to merger with Covalence Specialty Material Holdings Corp. Remaining holding is a tax receivable agreement.
Includes add-on investment in EGL, Inc.
Since Apollo’s founding in 1990, we believe our expertise in credit has served as an integral component of our company’s growth and success. Our credit-oriented approach to investing commenced in 1990 with the management of a $3.5 billion high-yield bond and leveraged loan portfolio. Since that time, our credit activities have grown significantly, through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. As of December 31, 2014, Apollo’s credit segment had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $108.4 billion and $92.2 billion, respectively, across a diverse range of credit-oriented investments that utilize the same disciplined, value-oriented investment philosophy that we employ with respect to our private equity funds.
Apollo’s broad credit platform, which we believe is adaptable to evolving market conditions and different risk tolerances, has been organized by the following six functional groups:
Credit AUM as of December 31, 2014
Excludes sub-advised AUM.
U.S. Performing Credit
The U.S. performing credit group provides investment management services to funds, including SIAs, that primarily focus on income-oriented, senior loan and bond investment strategies. The U.S. performing credit group also includes CLOs that we raise and manage internally. As of December 31, 2014, our U.S. performing credit group had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $24.9 billion and $20.0 billion, respectively.
The structured credit group provides investment management services to funds, including SIAs, that primarily focus on structured credit investment strategies that target multiple tranches of structured securities with favorable and protective lending terms, predictable payment schedules, well diversified portfolios, and low historical defaults, among other characteristics. These strategies include investments in externally managed CLOs, residential mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and other structured instruments, including insurance-linked securities and longevity-based products. The structured credit group also serves as substitute investment manager for a number of asset-backed CDOs and other structured vehicles. As of December 31, 2014, our structured credit group had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $16.0 billion and $11.0 billion, respectively.
The opportunistic credit group provides investment management services to funds, including SIAs, that primarily focus on credit investment strategies that are often less liquid in nature and that utilize a similar value-oriented investment philosophy as our private equity business. The opportunistic credit funds and SIAs invest in a broad array of primary (including origination)and secondary opportunities encompassing performing, stressed and distressed public and private securities primarily within corporate credit, including senior loans (secured and unsecured), high yield, mezzanine, debtor in possession financings, rescue or bridge financings, and other debt investments. Additionally, certain opportunistic credit funds will selectively invest in aircraft,
shipping assets, energy and structured credit investment opportunities. In certain cases, leverage can be employed in connection with these strategies by having fund subsidiaries or special-purpose vehicles incur debt or by entering into credit facilities or other debt transactions to finance the acquisition of various credit investments. Additionally, certain opportunistic credit funds will selectively purchase assets, including aircraft and shipping, as well as invest in energy and structured credit investment opportunities. As of December 31, 2014, our opportunistic credit group had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $10.8 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively.
The non-performing loan group provides investment management services to funds, including SIAs, that primarily invest in European commercial and residential real estate performing and non-performing loans (“NPLs”) and unsecured consumer loans and acquiring assets as a result of distressed market situations. Certain of the non-performing loan investment vehicles that we manage own captive pan-European loan servicing and property management platforms. These loan servicing and property management platforms operate in five European countries, employed approximately 1,200 individuals as of December 31, 2014 and directly service consumer credit receivables and loans secured by commercial and residential properties. The post-investment loan servicing and real estate asset management requirements, combined with the illiquid nature of NPLs, limit participation by traditional long only investors, hedge funds, and private equity funds, resulting in what we believe to be a unique opportunity for our credit business. As of December 31, 2014, our non-performing loan group had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $5.0 billion and $3.7 billion, respectively.
The European credit group provides investment management services to funds, including SIAs, that focus on investment strategies in a variety of credit opportunities in Europe across a company’s capital structure. The European credit group invests in senior loans (secured and unsecured) and notes, mezzanine loans, subordinated notes, distressed and stressed credit and other idiosyncratic credit investments of companies established or operating primarily in Europe. Additionally, certain European credit funds will selectively invest in shipping assets and structured credit investment opportunities. The European credit group also includes CLOs that we raise and manage internally. As of December 31, 2014, our European credit group had total AUM and Fee-Generating AUM of $4.0 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively.
Athene Holding was founded in 2009 to capitalize on favorable market conditions in the dislocated life insurance sector. Athene Holding is the ultimate parent of various insurance company operating subsidiaries. Through its subsidiaries, Athene Holding provides insurance products focused primarily on the retirement market and its business centers primarily on issuing or reinsuring fixed and equity-indexed annuities.
On October 2, 2013, Athene Holding closed its acquisition of the U.S. annuity operations of Aviva plc ("Aviva USA"), which added approximately $44 billion of total and Fee-Generating AUM within Apollo's credit segment and as a result, Athene is currently estimated to be one of the largest fixed annuity companies in the United States.
Apollo, through its consolidated subsidiary, Athene Asset Management, L.P. (“Athene Asset Management”), provides asset management services to Athene, including asset allocation and portfolio management strategies, and receives fees from Athene for providing such services. As of December 31, 2014, all of Athene’s assets were managed by Athene Asset Management. Athene Asset Management had $60.3 billion of total AUM as of December 31, 2014 in accounts owned by or related to Athene (the “Athene Accounts”), of which approximately $12.6 billion, or approximately 20.9%, was either sub-advised by Apollo or invested in Apollo funds and investment vehicles. The vast majority of such assets are in sub-advisory managed accounts that manage high grade credit asset classes, such as CLO debt, commercial mortgage backed securities and insurance-linked securities. We expect this percentage to increase over time provided that Athene Asset Management continues to perform successfully in providing asset management services to Athene. Athene Asset Management receives a gross management fee equal to 0.40% per annum on all AUM in the Athene Accounts, with certain limited exceptions for all of the services which Athene Asset Management provides to Athene. In addition, the Company receives sub-advisory fees with respect to a portion of the assets in the Athene Accounts.
Our real estate group has a dedicated team of multi-disciplinary real estate professionals whose investment activities are integrated and coordinated with our private equity and credit business segments. We take a broad view of markets and property types in targeting debt and equity investment opportunities, including the acquisition and recapitalization of real estate portfolios,
platforms and operating companies and distressed for control situations. As of December 31, 2014, our real estate group had total and fee generating AUM of approximately $9.5 billion and $6.2 billion, respectively, through a combination of investment funds, strategic investment accounts ("SIAs") and Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. ("ARI"), a publicly-traded, commercial mortgage real estate investment trust managed by Apollo.
With respect to our real estate funds' equity investments, we take a value-oriented approach and our funds will invest in assets located in primary, secondary and tertiary markets. The funds we manage pursue opportunistic investments in various real estate asset classes, which historically have included hospitality, office, industrial, retail, healthcare, residential and non-performing loans. Our real estate equity funds under management currently include AGRE U.S. Real Estate Fund, L.P. and Apollo U.S. Real Estate Fund II, L.P., our U.S. focused, opportunistic funds, and our legacy Citi Property Investors ("CPI") business, the real estate investment management business we acquired from Citigroup in November 2010.
With respect to our real estate debt activities, our real estate funds and accounts offer financing across a broad spectrum of property types and at various points within a property’s capital structure, including first mortgage and mezzanine financing and preferred equity. In addition to ARI, we also manage strategic accounts focused on investing in commercial mortgage-backed securities and other commercial real estate loans.
Strategic Investment Accounts
We manage several SIAs established to facilitate investments by third-party investors directly in Apollo funds and other securities. Institutional investors are expressing increasing levels of interest in SIAs since these accounts can provide investors with greater levels of transparency, liquidity and control over their investments as compared to more traditional investment funds. Based on the trends we are currently witnessing among a select group of large institutional investors, we expect our AUM that is managed through SIAs to continue to grow over time. As of December 31, 2014, approximately $15 billion of our total AUM was managed through SIAs.
Fundraising and Investor Relations
We believe our performance track record across our funds and our focus on client service have resulted in strong relationships with our fund investors. Our fund investors include many of the world’s most prominent pension and sovereign wealth funds, university endowments and financial institutions, as well as individuals. We maintain an internal team dedicated to investor relations across our private equity, credit and real estate businesses.
In our private equity business, fundraising activities for new funds begin once the investor capital commitments for the current fund are largely invested or committed to be invested. The investor base of our private equity funds includes both investors from prior funds and new investors. In many instances, investors in our private equity funds have increased their commitments to subsequent funds as our private equity funds have increased in size. During the fundraising effort for Apollo Investment Fund VIII, L.P. ("Fund VIII"), investors representing over 92% of Apollo Investment Fund VII, L.P.'s ("Fund VII") capital committed to Fund VIII. In addition, many of our investment professionals commit their own capital to each private equity fund. The single largest unaffiliated investor in Fund VIII represents 5% of Fund VIII's commitments.
During the management of a private equity fund, we maintain an active dialogue with the fund's limited partner investors. We host quarterly webcasts that are led by members of our senior management team and we provide quarterly reports to the limited partner investors detailing recent performance by investment. We also organize an annual meeting for our private equity funds' investors that consists of detailed presentations by the senior management teams of many of our funds' current investments. From time to time, we also hold meetings for the advisory board members of our private equity funds.
In our credit business, we have raised private capital from prominent institutional investors and have also raised capital from public market investors, as in the case of AINV, AFT, AIF and AMTG. AINV is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and complies with the reporting requirements of that exchange. AFT, AIF and AMTG are listed on the NYSE and comply with the reporting requirements of that exchange.
In our real estate business, we have raised capital from prominent institutional investors and we have also raised capital from public market investors, as in the case of ARI. ARI is listed on the NYSE and complies with the reporting requirements of that exchange.
We maintain a rigorous investment process and a comprehensive due diligence approach across all of our funds. We have developed policies and procedures, the adequacy of which are reviewed annually, that govern the investment practices of our
funds. Moreover, each fund is subject to certain investment criteria set forth in its governing documents that generally contain requirements and limitations for investments, such as limitations relating to the amount that will be invested in any one company and the geographic regions in which the fund will invest. Our investment professionals are familiar with our investment policies and procedures and the investment criteria applicable to the funds that they manage. Our investment professionals interact frequently across our businesses on a formal and informal basis.
We have in place certain procedures to allocate investment opportunities among our funds. These procedures are meant to ensure that each fund is treated fairly and that transactions are allocated in a way that is equitable, fair and in the best interests of each fund, subject to the terms of the governing agreements of such funds.
Private Equity Investment Process
Our private equity investment professionals are responsible for selecting, evaluating, structuring, due diligence, negotiating, executing, monitoring and exiting investments for our traditional private equity funds, as well as pursuing operational improvements in our funds’ portfolio companies through management consulting arrangements. These investment professionals perform significant research into each prospective investment, including a review of the company’s financial statements, comparisons with other public and private companies and relevant industry data. The due diligence effort will also typically include:
interviews with management, employees, customers and vendors of the potential portfolio company;
research relating to the company’s management, industry, markets, products and services, and competitors; and
After an initial selection, evaluation and diligence process, the relevant team of investment professionals will prepare a detailed analysis of the investment opportunity for our private equity investment committee. Our private equity investment committee generally meets weekly to review the investment activity and performance of our private equity funds.
After discussing the proposed transaction with the deal team, the investment committee will decide whether to give its preliminary approval to the deal team to continue the selection, evaluation, diligence and negotiation process. The investment committee will typically conduct several meetings to consider a particular investment before finally approving that investment and its terms. Both at such meetings and in other discussions with the deal team, our Managing Partners and other investment professionals will provide guidance to the deal team on strategy, process and other pertinent considerations. Every private equity investment requires the approval of our Managing Partners.
Our private equity investment professionals are responsible for monitoring an investment once it is made and for making recommendations with respect to exiting an investment. Disposition decisions made on behalf of our private equity funds are subject to review and approval by the private equity investment committee, including our Managing Partners.
Credit and Real Estate Investment Process
Our credit and real estate investment professionals are responsible for selecting, evaluating, structuring, due diligence, negotiating, executing, monitoring and exiting investments for our credit funds and real estate funds, respectively. The investment professionals perform significant research into and due diligence of each prospective investment, and prepare analyses of recommended investments for the investment committee of the relevant fund.
Investment decisions are scrutinized by the investment committees where applicable, who review potential transactions, provide input regarding the scope of due diligence and approve recommended investments and dispositions. Close attention is given to how well a proposed investment is aligned with the distinct investment objectives of the fund in question, which in many cases have specific geographic or other focuses. The investment committee of each of our credit funds and real estate funds generally is provided with a summary of the investment activity and performance of the relevant funds on at least a monthly basis.
Overview of Fund Operations
Investors in our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real estate funds make commitments to provide capital at the outset of a fund and deliver capital when called by us as investment opportunities become available. We determine the amount of initial capital commitments for such funds by taking into account current market opportunities and conditions, as well as investor expectations. The general partner’s capital commitment is determined through negotiation with the fund’s underlying investor base. The commitments are generally available for approximately six years during what we call the investment period. We have typically invested the capital committed to such funds over a three to four year period. Generally, as each investment is realized, these funds first return the capital and expenses related to that investment and any previously realized investments to fund investors and then distribute any profits. These profits are typically shared 80% to the investors in our private equity funds
and 20% to us so long as the investors receive at least an 8% compounded annual return on their investment, which we refer to as a “preferred return” or “hurdle.” Allocation of profits between fund investors and us, as well as the amount of the preferred return, among other provisions, varies for our real estate equity and many of our credit funds. Our private equity funds typically terminate ten years after the final closing, subject to the potential for two one-year extensions. Dissolution of those funds can be accelerated upon a majority vote of investors not affiliated with us and, in any case, all of our funds also may be terminated upon the occurrence of certain other events. Ownership interests in our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real estate funds are not, however, subject to redemption prior to termination of the funds.
The processes by which our credit and real estate funds receive and invest capital vary by type of fund. As noted above, certain of our credit and real estate funds have drawdown structures where investors made a commitment to provide capital at the formation of such funds and deliver capital when called by us as investment opportunities become available. In addition, we have several permanent capital vehicles with unlimited duration. Each of these publicly traded vehicles raises capital by selling shares in the public markets and these vehicles can also issue debt. We also have several credit funds which continuously offer and sell shares or limited partner interests via private placements through monthly subscriptions, which are payable in full upon a fund’s acceptance of an investor’s subscription. These hedge fund style credit funds have customary redemption rights (in many cases subject to the expiration of an initial lock-up period), and are generally structured as limited partnerships, the terms of which are determined through negotiation with the funds' underlying investor base. Management fees and incentive fees (whether in the form of carried interest income or incentive allocation) that we earn for management of these credit funds and from their performance as well as the terms governing their operation vary across our credit funds.
We conduct the management of our private equity, credit and real estate funds primarily through a partnership structure, in which partnerships organized by us accept commitments and/or funds for investment from investors. Funds are generally organized as limited partnerships with respect to private equity funds and other U.S. domiciled vehicles and limited partnership and limited liability (and other similar) companies with respect to non-U.S. domiciled vehicles. Typically, each fund has an investment advisor registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Advisers Act”). Responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the funds is typically delegated to the funds’ respective investment managers pursuant to an investment management (or similar) agreement. Generally, the material terms of our investment management agreements relate to the scope of services to be rendered by the investment manager to the applicable funds, certain rights of termination in respect of our investment management agreements and, generally, with respect to certain of our credit and real estate funds (as these matters are covered in the limited partnership agreements of the private equity funds), the calculation of management fees to be borne by investors in such funds, as well as the calculation of the manner and extent to which other fees received by the investment manager from fund portfolio companies serve to offset or reduce the management fees payable by investors in our funds. The funds themselves generally do not register as investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), generally in reliance on Section 3(c)(7) or Section 7(d) thereof or, typically in the case of funds formed prior to 1997, Section 3(c)(1) thereof. Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act excepts from its registration requirements funds privately placed in the United States whose securities are owned exclusively by persons who, at the time of acquisition of such securities, are “qualified purchasers” or “knowledgeable employees” for purposes of the Investment Company Act. Section 3(c)(1) of the Investment Company Act exempts from its registration requirements privately placed funds whose securities are beneficially owned by not more than 100 persons. In addition, under current interpretations of the SEC, Section 7(d) of the Investment Company Act exempts from registration any non-U.S. fund all of whose outstanding securities are beneficially owned either by non-U.S. residents or by U.S. residents that are qualified purchasers.
In addition to having an investment manager, each fund that is a limited partnership, or “partnership” fund, also has a general partner that makes all policy and investment decisions relating to the conduct of the fund’s business. The general partner is responsible for all decisions concerning the making, monitoring and disposing of investments, but such responsibilities are typically delegated to the fund’s investment manager pursuant to an investment management (or similar) agreement. The limited partners of the funds take no part in the conduct or control of the business of the funds, have no right or authority to act for or bind the funds and have no influence over the voting or disposition of the securities or other assets held by the funds. These decisions are made by the fund’s general partner in its sole discretion, subject to the investment limitations set forth in the agreements governing each fund. The limited partners often have the right to remove the general partner or investment manager for cause or cause an early dissolution by a simple majority vote. In connection with the private offering transactions that occurred in 2007 pursuant to which we sold shares of Apollo Global Management, LLC to certain initial purchasers and accredited investors in transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act (“Private Offering Transactions”) and the reorganization of the Company’s predecessor business (the “2007 Reorganization”), we deconsolidated certain of our private equity and credit funds that have historically been consolidated in our financial statements and amended the governing agreements of those funds to provide that a simple majority of a fund’s investors have the right to accelerate the dissolution date of the fund.
In addition, the governing agreements of our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real estate funds enable the limited partners holding a specified percentage of the interests entitled to vote, to elect not to continue the limited partners’ capital commitments for new portfolio investments in the event certain of our Managing Partners do not devote the requisite time
to managing the fund or in connection with certain triggering events (as defined in the applicable governing agreements). In addition to having a significant, immeasurable negative impact on our revenue, net income and cash flow, the occurrence of such an event with respect to any of our funds would likely result in significant reputational damage to us. The loss of the services of any of our Managing Partners would have a material adverse effect on us, including our ability to retain and attract investors and raise new funds, and the performance of our funds. We do not carry any “key man” insurance that would provide us with proceeds in the event of the death or disability of any of our Managing Partners.
Fees and Carried Interest
Our revenues and other income consist principally of (i) management fees, which may be based upon a percentage of the committed or invested capital, adjusted assets, gross invested capital, fund net asset value, stockholders' equity or the capital accounts of the limited partners of the funds, and may be subject to offset as discussed in note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, (ii) advisory and transaction fees, net relating to certain actual and potential private equity, credit and real estate investments as more fully discussed in note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, (iii) income based on the performance of our funds, which consists of allocations, distributions or fees from our private equity, credit and real estate funds, and (iv) investment income from our investments as general partner and other direct investments primarily in the form of net gains from investment activities as well as interest and dividend income.
The composition of our revenues will vary based on market conditions and the cyclicality of the different businesses in which we operate. Our funds’ returns are driven by investment opportunities and general market conditions, including the availability of debt capital on attractive terms and the availability of distressed debt opportunities. Our funds initially record fund investments at cost and then such investments are subsequently recorded at fair value. Fair values are affected by changes in the fundamentals of the underlying portfolio company investments of the funds, the industries in which the portfolio companies operate, the overall economy as well as other market conditions.
General Partner and Professionals Investments and Co-Investments
General Partner Investments
Certain of our management companies, general partners and co-invest vehicles are committed to contribute to our funds and affiliates. As a limited partner, general partner and manager of the Apollo funds, Apollo had unfunded capital commitments as of December 31, 2014 of $646.6 million.
Apollo has an ongoing obligation, subject to certain stipulations, to acquire additional common units of AAA in an amount equal to 25% of the aggregate after-tax cash distributions, if any, that are made by AAA to Apollo's affiliates pursuant to the carried interest distribution rights that are applicable to investments made through AAA Investments.
Managing Partners and Other Professionals Investments
To further align our interests with those of investors in our funds, our Managing Partners and other professionals have invested their own capital in our funds. Our Managing Partners and other professionals will either re-invest their carried interest to fund these investments or use cash on hand or funds borrowed from third parties. We generally have not historically charged management fees or carried interest on capital invested by our Managing Partners and other professionals directly in our private equity, credit, and real estate funds.
Investors in many of our funds, as well as certain other investors, may have the opportunity to make co-investments with the funds. Co-investments are investments in portfolio companies or other assets generally on the same terms and conditions as those to which the applicable fund is subject.
Regulatory and Compliance Matters
Our businesses, as well as the financial services industry generally, are subject to extensive regulation in the United States and elsewhere.
All of the investment advisors of our funds are registered as investment advisors either directly or as a "relying advisor" with the SEC. Registered investment advisors are subject to the requirements and regulations of the Investment Advisers Act. Such requirements relate to, among other things, fiduciary duties to clients, maintaining an effective compliance program, managing conflicts of interest and general anti-fraud prohibitions.
Each of AFT and AIF is a registered management investment company under the Investment Company Act. AINV is an investment company that has elected to be treated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act. Each of AFT, AIF and AINV has elected for U.S. Federal tax purposes to be treated as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”). As such, each of AFT, AIF and AINV is required to distribute during each taxable year at least 90% of its ordinary income and realized, net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any, to its shareholders. In addition, in order to avoid excise tax, each needs to distribute during each calendar year at least 98% of its ordinary income and 98.2% of its capital gains net income for one-year period ended on October 31st of such calendar year, plus any shortfalls from any prior year's distribution, which would take into account short-term and long-term capital gains and losses. In addition, as a business development company, AINV must not acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” specified in the Investment Company Act unless, at the time the acquisition is made, at least 70% of AINV’s total assets are qualifying assets (with certain limited exceptions).
ARI elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, under the Internal Revenue Code commencing with its taxable year ended December 31, 2009. AMTG also elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, commencing with its fiscal year ended December 31, 2011. To maintain their qualification as REITs, ARI and AMTG must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to their shareholders and meet, on a continuing basis, certain other complex requirements under the Internal Revenue Code.
In addition, Apollo Global Securities, LLC (“AGS”) is a registered broker dealer with the SEC and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. From time to time, this entity is involved in transactions with affiliates of Apollo, including portfolio companies of the funds we manage, whereby AGS will earn fees for its services.
Broker-dealers are subject to regulations that cover all aspects of the securities business. In particular, as a registered broker-dealer and member of a self regulatory organization, we are subject to the SEC’s uniform net capital rule, Rule 15c3-1. Rule 15c3-1 specifies the minimum level of net capital a broker-dealer must maintain and also requires that a significant part of a broker-dealer’s assets be kept in relatively liquid form. The SEC and various self-regulatory organizations impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria, limit the ratio of subordinated debt to equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. Additionally, the SEC’s uniform net capital rule imposes certain requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to the SEC for certain withdrawals of capital.
As the ultimate parent of the general partner or manager of certain shareholders of Athene Holding, we are subject to insurance holding company system laws and regulations in Delaware, Iowa and New York, which are the states in which the insurance company subsidiaries of Athene Holding are domiciled. These regulations generally require each insurance company subsidiary to register with the insurance department in its state of domicile and to furnish financial and other information about the operations of companies within its holding company system. These regulations also impose restrictions and limitations on the ability of an insurance company subsidiary to pay dividends and make other distributions to its parent company. In addition, transactions between an insurance company and other companies within its holding company system, including sales, loans, reinsurance agreements, management agreements and service agreements, must be on terms that are fair and reasonable and, if material or within a specified category, require prior notice and approval or non-disapproval by the applicable domiciliary insurance department.
The insurance laws of each of Delaware, Iowa and New York prohibit any person from acquiring control of a domestic insurance company or its parent company unless that person has filed a notification with specified information with that state’s Commissioner or Superintendent of Insurance (the “Commissioner”) and has obtained the Commissioner’s prior approval. Under applicable Delaware, Iowa and New York statutes, the acquisition of 10% or more of the voting securities of an insurance company or its parent company is presumptively considered an acquisition of control of the insurance company, although such presumption may be rebutted. Accordingly, any person or entity that acquires, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting securities of Apollo without the requisite prior approvals will be in violation of these laws and may be subject to injunctive action requiring the disposition or seizure of those securities or prohibiting the voting of those securities, or to other actions that may be taken by the applicable state insurance regulators.
In addition, many U.S. state insurance laws require prior notification to state insurance departments of an acquisition of control of a non-domiciliary insurance company doing business in that state if the acquisition would result in specified levels of market concentration. While these pre-notification statutes do not authorize the state insurance departments to disapprove the acquisition of control, they authorize regulatory action in the affected state, including requiring the insurance company to cease and desist from doing certain types of business in the affected state or denying a license to do business in the affected state, if particular conditions exist, such as substantially lessening competition in any line of business in such state. Any transactions that would constitute an acquisition of control of Apollo may require prior notification in those states that have adopted pre-acquisition notification laws. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent an acquisition of
control of Apollo (in particular through an unsolicited transaction), even if Apollo might consider such transaction to be desirable for its shareholders.
Currently, there are proposals to increase the scope of regulation of insurance holding companies in both the United States and internationally. In the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC") has promulgated amendments to its insurance holding company system model law and regulations for consideration by the various states that would provide for more extensive informational reporting regarding parents and other affiliates of insurance companies, with the purpose of protecting domestic insurers from enterprise risk, including requiring an annual enterprise risk report by the ultimate controlling person identifying the material risks within the insurance holding company system that could pose enterprise risk to domestic insurers. To date, both Iowa and New York have enacted laws to adopt such amendments.
Internationally, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors is in the process of adopting a framework for the “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups. The NAIC has also promulgated additional amendments to its insurance holding company system model law that address “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups. Changes to existing laws or regulations must be adopted by individual states or foreign jurisdictions before they will become effective. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty the additional capital requirements, compliance costs or other burdens these requirements may impose on us and our insurance company affiliates.
In addition, state insurance departments also have broad administrative powers over the insurance business of our insurance company affiliates, including insurance company licensing and examination, agent licensing, establishment of reserve requirements and solvency standards, premium rate regulation, admissibility of assets, policy form approval, unfair trade and claims practices and other matters. State regulators regularly review and update these and other requirements.
Although the federal government does not directly regulate the insurance business, federal legislation and administrative policies in several areas, including pension regulation, age and sex discrimination, financial services regulation, securities regulation and federal taxation, can significantly affect the insurance business. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created the Federal Insurance Office (the “FIO”) within the Department of Treasury headed by a Director appointed by the Treasury Secretary. The FIO is designed principally to exercise a monitoring and information gathering role, rather than a regulatory role. In that capacity, the FIO has been charged with providing reports to the U.S. Congress on (i) modernization of U.S. insurance regulation and (ii) the U.S. and global reinsurance market. Such reports could ultimately lead to changes in the regulation of insurers and reinsurers in the U.S.
We are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a result of certain of the funds we manage directly or indirectly owning, controlling or holding, with power to vote, 10% or more of the voting securities in a “public-utility company” or a “holding company” of a public-utility company (as those terms are defined in the U.S. Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005). See “Item 1A. Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Businesses-We are a holding company subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “FERC”). An acquirer of our Class A shares may be required to obtain prior approval from the FERC and make other filings with the FERC.”
Apollo Management International LLP is authorized and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
AAA is regulated under the Authorized Closed-ended Investment Scheme Rules 2008 issued by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) with effect from December 15, 2008 under The Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1987, as amended (the “New Rules”). AAA is deemed to be an authorized closed-ended investment scheme under the New Rules.
Apollo Advisors (Mauritius) Ltd (“Apollo Mauritius”), one of our subsidiaries, and AION Capital Management Limited (“AION Manager”), one of our joint venture investments, are licensed providers of investment management services in the Republic of Mauritius and are subject to applicable Mauritian securities laws and the oversight of the Financial Services Commission (Mauritius) (the “FSC”). Each of Apollo Mauritius and AION Manager is subject to limited regulatory requirements under the Mauritian Securities Act 2005, Mauritian Financial Services Act 2007 and relevant ancillary regulations, including, ongoing reporting and record keeping requirements, anti-money laundering obligations, obligations to ensure that it and its directors, key officers and representatives are fit and proper and requirements to maintain positive shareholders’ equity. The FSC is responsible for administering these requirements and ensuring the compliance of Apollo Mauritius and AION Manager with them. If Apollo Mauritius or AION Manager contravenes any such requirements, such entities and/or their officers or representatives may be subject to a fine, reprimand, prohibition order or other regulatory sanctions.
AGM India Advisors Private Limited is regulated by the Company Law Board (also known as the Ministry of Company Affairs) through the Companies Act of 1956 in India. Additionally since there are foreign investments in the company, AGM India
Advisors Private Limited is also subject to the rules and regulations applicable under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 which falls within the purview of Reserve Bank of India.
Apollo Management Singapore Pte Ltd. was granted a Capital Markets Service License with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in October 2013. In addition, Apollo Capital Management, L.P. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a foreign institutional investor.
Certain of our businesses are subject to compliance with laws and regulations of U.S. Federal and state governments, non-U.S. governments, their respective agencies and/or various self-regulatory organizations or exchanges relating to, among other things, the privacy of client information, and any failure to comply with these regulations could expose us to liability and/or reputational damage. Our businesses have operated for many years within a legal framework that requires our being able to monitor and comply with a broad range of legal and regulatory developments that affect our activities.
However, additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by self-regulatory organizations or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules, either in the United States or elsewhere, may directly affect our mode of operation and profitability. For additional information concerning the competitive risks that we face, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related To Our Businesses — The investment management business is intensely competitive, which could have a material adverse impact on us.”
Rigorous legal and compliance analysis of our businesses and investments is important to our culture. We strive to maintain a culture of compliance through the use of policies and procedures, such as our code of ethics, compliance systems, communication of compliance guidance and employee education and training. We have a compliance group that monitors our compliance with the regulatory requirements to which we are subject and manages our compliance policies and procedures. Our Chief Compliance Officer supervises our compliance group, which is responsible for addressing all regulatory and compliance matters that affect our activities. Our compliance policies and procedures address a variety of regulatory and compliance risks such as the handling of material non-public information, personal securities trading, valuation of investments on a fund-specific basis, document retention, potential conflicts of interest and the allocation of investment opportunities.
We generally operate without information barriers between our businesses. In an effort to manage possible risks resulting from our decision not to implement these barriers, our compliance personnel maintain a list of issuers for which we have access to material, non-public information and for whose securities our funds and investment professionals are not permitted to trade. We could in the future decide that it is advisable to establish information barriers, particularly as our business expands and diversifies. In such event our ability to operate as an integrated platform will be restricted. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Businesses — Possession of material, non-public information could prevent Apollo funds from undertaking advantageous transactions; our internal controls could fail; we could determine to establish information barriers."
The investment management industry is intensely competitive, and we expect it to remain so. We compete globally and on a regional, industry and niche basis.
We face competition both in the pursuit of outside investors for our funds and in acquiring investments in attractive portfolio companies and making other investments. We compete for outside investors based on a variety of factors, including:
investor perception of investment managers’ drive, focus and alignment of interest;
quality of service provided to and duration of relationship with investors;
business reputation; and
the level of fees and expenses charged for services.
Depending on the investment, we expect to face competition in acquisitions primarily from other private equity, credit and real estate funds, specialized funds, hedge fund sponsors, other financial institutions, corporate buyers and other parties. Several of these competitors have significant amounts of capital and many of them have similar investment objectives to us, which may create additional competition for investment opportunities. Some of these competitors may also have a lower cost of capital and access to funding sources that are not available to us, which may create competitive disadvantages for us with respect to investment opportunities. Competitors may also be subject to different regulatory regimes or rules that may provide them more flexibility or better access to pursue transactions or raise capital for their investment funds. In addition, some of these competitors may have higher risk tolerances, different risk assessments or lower return thresholds, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and to bid more aggressively than us for investments that we want to make. Corporate buyers may be able to achieve synergistic cost savings with regard to an investment that may provide them with a competitive advantage in bidding for an investment. Lastly, the allocation of increasing amounts of capital to alternative investment strategies by institutional and
individual investors could well lead to a reduction in the size and duration of pricing inefficiencies that many of our funds seek to exploit.
Competition is also intense for the attraction and retention of qualified employees. Our ability to continue to compete effectively in our businesses will depend upon our ability to attract new employees and retain and motivate our existing employees.
For additional information concerning the competitive risks that we face, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Businesses—The investment management business is intensely competitive, which could have a material adverse impact on us.”
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Risks Related to Our Businesses
Poor performance of our funds would cause a decline in our revenue and results of operations, may obligate us to repay incentive income previously paid to us and would adversely affect our ability to raise capital for future funds.
We derive revenues in part from:
management fees, which are based generally on the amount of capital invested in our funds;
transaction and advisory fees relating to the investments our funds make;
incentive income, based on the performance of our funds; and
investment income from our investments as general partner.
If a fund performs poorly, we will receive little or no incentive income with regard to the fund and little income or possibly losses from any principal investment in the fund. Furthermore, if, as a result of poor performance of later investments in a fund’s life, the fund does not achieve total investment returns that exceed a specified investment return threshold for the life of the fund, we may be obligated to repay the amount by which incentive income that was previously distributed to us exceeds amounts to which we are ultimately entitled. Our fund investors and potential fund investors continually assess our funds’ performance and our ability to raise capital. Accordingly, poor fund performance may deter future investment in our funds and thereby decrease the capital invested in our funds and ultimately, our management fee income.
We depend on Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, and the loss of their services would have a material adverse effect on us.
The success of our businesses depends on the efforts, judgment and personal reputations of our Managing Partners, Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan. Their reputations, expertise in investing, relationships with our fund investors and relationships with members of the business community on whom our funds depend for investment opportunities and financing are each critical elements in operating and expanding our businesses. We believe our performance is strongly correlated to the performance of these individuals. Accordingly, our retention of our Managing Partners is crucial to our success. Subject to the terms of their employment, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, our Managing Partners may resign, join our competitors or form a competing firm at any time. If our Managing Partners were to join or form a competitor, some of our investors could choose to invest with that competitor, another competitor or not at all, rather than in our funds. The loss of the services of our Managing Partners may have a material adverse effect on us, including our ability to retain and attract investors and raise new funds, and the performance of our funds. We do not carry any “key man” insurance that would provide us with proceeds in the event of the death or disability of any of our Managing Partners. In addition, the loss of two or more of our Managing Partners may result in the termination of our role as general partner of two or more of our funds and the termination of the commitment periods of certain of our funds. See “—If two or more of our Managing Partners or other investment professionals leave our company, the commitment periods of certain of our funds may be terminated, and we may be in default under our credit agreement.” Although our Managing Partners have entered into employment, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, which impose certain restrictions on competition and solicitation of our employees by our Managing Partners if they terminate their employment, a court may not enforce these provisions. See “Item 11. Executive Compensation—Narrative Disclosure to the Summary Compensation Table and Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table—Employment, Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreement with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer” for a more detailed description of the terms of the agreement for one of our Managing Partners.
Changes in the debt financing markets may negatively impact the ability of our funds and their portfolio companies to obtain attractive financing for their investments and may increase the cost of such financing if it is obtained, which could lead to lower-yielding investments and potentially decreasing our net income.
In the event that our funds are unable to obtain committed debt financing for potential acquisitions or can only obtain debt at an increased interest rate or on unfavorable terms, our funds may have difficulty completing otherwise profitable acquisitions or may generate profits that are lower than would otherwise be the case, either of which could lead to a decrease in the investment income earned by us. Any failure by lenders to provide previously committed financing can also expose us to potential claims by sellers of businesses which we may have contracted to purchase. Our funds' portfolio companies regularly utilize the corporate debt markets in order to obtain financing for their operations. Similarly, certain of our credit funds rely on the availability of attractive financing for their investments. To the extent that the current credit markets have rendered such financing difficult to obtain or more expensive, this may negatively impact the operating performance of such portfolio companies and lead to lower-yielding investments with respect to such funds and, therefore, the investment returns on our funds. In addition, to the extent that the current markets make it difficult or impossible to refinance debt that is maturing in the near term, a relevant portfolio company may face substantial doubt as to its status as a going concern (which may result in an event of default under various agreements) or be unable to repay such debt at maturity and may be forced to sell assets, undergo a recapitalization or seek bankruptcy protection.
Difficult market conditions may adversely affect our businesses in many ways, including by reducing the value or hampering the performance of the investments made by our funds or reducing the ability of our funds to raise or deploy capital, each of which could materially reduce our revenue, net income and cash flow and adversely affect our financial prospects and condition.
Our businesses are materially affected by conditions in the global financial markets and economic conditions throughout the world, such as interest rates, availability of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws (including laws relating to taxation), trade barriers, commodity prices, currency exchange rates and controls and national and international political circumstances (including wars, terrorist acts or security operations). These factors are outside our control and may affect the level and volatility of securities prices and the liquidity and the value of investments, and we may not be able to or may choose not to manage our exposure to these conditions. Global financial markets have experienced considerable volatility in the valuations of equity and debt securities, a contraction in the availability of credit and an increase in the cost of financing. Volatility in the financial markets can materially hinder the initiation of new, large-sized transactions for our private equity segment and, together with volatility in valuations of equity and debt securities, may adversely impact our operating results. If market conditions deteriorate, our business could be affected in different ways. In addition, these events and general economic trends are likely to impact the performance of portfolio companies in many industries, particularly industries that are more impacted by changes in consumer demand, such as the packaging, manufacturing, chemical and refining industries, as well as travel and leisure, gaming and real estate industries. The performance of our funds and our performance may be adversely affected to the extent our fund portfolio companies in these industries experience adverse performance or additional pressure due to downward trends. Our profitability may also be adversely affected by our fixed costs and the possibility that we would be unable to scale back other costs, within a time frame sufficient to match any further decreases in net income or increases in net losses relating to changes in market and economic conditions.
The financial downturn that began in 2007 adversely affected our operating results in a number of ways, and if the economy were to re-enter a recessionary or inflationary period, it may cause our revenue and results of operations to decline by causing:
our AUM to decrease, lowering management fees from our funds;
increases in costs of financial instruments;
adverse conditions for our portfolio companies (e.g., decreased revenues, liquidity pressures, increased difficulty in obtaining access to financing and complying with the terms of existing financings as well as increased financing costs);
lower investment returns, reducing incentive income;
higher interest rates, which could increase the cost of the debt capital we use to acquire companies in our private equity business; and
material reductions in the value of our fund investments, affecting our ability to realize carried interest from these investments.
Lower investment returns and such material reductions in value may result, among other reasons, because during periods of difficult market conditions or slowdowns (which may be across one or more industries, sectors or geographies), companies in which we invest may experience decreased revenues, financial losses, difficulty in obtaining access to financing and increased funding costs. During such periods, these companies may also have difficulty in expanding their businesses and operations and be unable to meet their debt service obligations or other expenses as they become due, including expenses payable to us. In addition,
during periods of adverse economic conditions, our funds and their portfolio companies may have difficulty accessing financial markets, which could make it more difficult or impossible to obtain funding for additional investments and harm our AUM and operating results. Furthermore, such conditions would also increase the risk of default with respect to investments held by our funds that have significant debt investments, such as our opportunistic and European credit funds and our U.S. performing credit funds. Our funds may be affected by reduced opportunities to exit and realize value from their investments, by lower than expected returns on investments made prior to the deterioration of the credit markets, and by the fact that we may not be able to find suitable investments for the funds to effectively deploy capital, which could adversely affect our ability to raise new funds and thus adversely impact our prospects for future growth.
A decline in the pace of investment in our funds, an increase in the pace of sales of investments in our funds, or an increase in the amount of transaction and advisory fees we share with our fund investors would result in our receiving less revenue from transaction and advisory fees.
The transaction and advisory fees that we earn are driven in part by the pace at which our funds make investments. Many factors could cause a decline in the pace of investment, including the inability of our investment professionals to identify attractive investment opportunities, competition for such opportunities among other potential acquirers, decreased availability of capital on attractive terms and our failure to consummate identified investment opportunities because of business, regulatory or legal complexities and adverse developments in the U.S. or global economy or financial markets. Any decline in the pace at which our funds make investments would reduce our transaction and advisory fees and could make it more difficult for us to raise capital. Likewise, during attractive selling environments, our funds may capitalize on increased opportunities to exit investments. Any increase in the pace at which our funds exit investments would reduce transaction and advisory fees. In addition, some of our fund investors have requested, and we expect to continue to receive requests from fund investors, that we share with them a larger portion, or all, of the transaction and advisory fees generated by our funds' investments. To the extent we accommodate such requests, it would result in a decrease in the amount of fee revenue we could earn. For example, in Fund VIII we have agreed that 100% of certain transaction and advisory fees will be shared with the investors in the fund through a management fee offset mechanism, whereas the percentage was 68% in Fund VII.
If two or more of our Managing Partners or other investment professionals leave our company, the commitment periods of certain of our funds may be terminated, and we may be in default under our credit agreement.
The governing agreements of certain of our funds provide that in the event certain “key persons” (such as two or more of Messrs. Black, Harris and Rowan and/or certain other of our investment professionals) fail to devote the requisite time to our business, the commitment period will terminate if a certain percentage in interest of the investors do not vote to continue the commitment period. This is true of Fund VI, Fund VII and Fund VIII, on which our near- to medium-term performance will heavily depend. Apollo Credit Opportunity Fund III, L.P. ("COF III"), Apollo European Principal Finance Fund II, L.P. ("EPF II"), Financial Credit Investment II, L.P. ("FCI II") and certain other credit funds have similar provisions. In addition to having a significant negative impact on our revenue, net income and cash flow, the occurrence of such an event with respect to any of our funds would likely result in significant reputational damage to us.
Messrs. Black, Harris and Rowan may terminate their employment with us at any time.
We may not be successful in raising new funds or in raising more capital for certain of our funds and may face pressure on fee arrangements of our future funds.
Our funds may not be successful in consummating their current capital-raising efforts or others that they may undertake, or they may consummate them at investment levels far lower than those currently anticipated. Any capital raising that our funds do consummate may be on terms that are unfavorable to us or that are otherwise different from the terms that we have been able to obtain in the past. These risks could occur for reasons beyond our control, including general economic or market conditions, regulatory changes or increased competition.
Over the last few years, a large number of institutional investors that invest in alternative assets and have historically invested in our funds experienced negative pressure across their investment portfolios, which may affect our ability to raise capital from them. As a result of the global economic downturn during 2008 and 2009, these institutional investors experienced, among other things, a significant decline in the value of their public equity and debt holdings and a lack of realizations from their existing private equity portfolios. Consequently, many of these investors were left with disproportionately outsized remaining commitments to a number of private equity funds, and were restricted from making new commitments to third-party managed private equity funds such as those managed by us. To the extent economic conditions remain volatile or these issues reoccur, we may be unable to raise sufficient amounts of capital to support the investment activities of our future funds.
In addition, certain institutional investors have publicly criticized certain fund fee and expense structures, including management fees and transaction and advisory fees. In September 2009, the Institutional Limited Partners Association, or “ILPA,” published a set of Private Equity Principles, or the “Principles,” which were revised in January 2011. The Principles were developed in order to encourage discussion between limited partners and general partners regarding private equity fund partnership terms. Certain of the Principles call for enhanced “alignment of interests” between general partners and limited partners through modifications of some of the terms of fund arrangements, including proposed guidelines for fees and carried interest structures. We provided ILPA our endorsement of the Principles, representing an indication of our general support for the efforts of ILPA. Although we have no obligation to modify any of our fees with respect to our existing funds, we may experience pressure to do so.
The failure of our funds to raise capital in sufficient amounts and on satisfactory terms could result in a decrease in AUM and management fee and transaction fee revenue or us being unable to achieve an increase in AUM and management fee and transaction fee revenue, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Similarly, any modification of our existing fee arrangements or the fee structures for new funds could adversely affect our results of operations.
Third-party investors in our funds with commitment-based structures may not satisfy their contractual obligation to fund capital calls when requested by us, which could adversely affect a fund’s operations and performance.
Investors in all of our private equity and certain of our credit and real estate funds make capital commitments to those funds that we are entitled to call from those investors at any time during prescribed periods. We depend on investors fulfilling their commitments when we call capital from them in order for those funds to consummate investments and otherwise pay their obligations when due. Any investor that did not fund a capital call would be subject to several possible penalties, including having a significant amount of its existing investment forfeited in that fund. However, the impact of the penalty is directly correlated to the amount of capital previously invested by the investor in the fund and if an investor has invested little or no capital, for instance early in the life of the fund, then the forfeiture penalty may not be as meaningful. If investors were to fail to satisfy a significant amount of capital calls for any particular fund or funds, the operation and performance of those funds could be materially and adversely affected.
The historical returns attributable to our funds should not be considered as indicative of the future results of our funds or of our future results or of any returns expected on an investment in our Class A shares.
We have presented in this report the returns relating to the historical performance of our private equity, credit and real estate funds. The returns are relevant to us primarily insofar as they are indicative of incentive income we have earned in the past and may earn in the future, our reputation and our ability to raise new funds. The returns of the funds we manage are not, however, directly linked to returns on our Class A shares. Therefore, you should not conclude that continued positive performance of the funds we manage will necessarily result in positive returns on an investment in Class A shares. However, poor performance of the funds we manage will cause a decline in our revenue from such funds, and would therefore have a negative effect on our performance and the value of our Class A shares. An investment in our Class A shares is not an investment in any of the Apollo funds.
Moreover, the historical returns of our funds should not be considered indicative of the future returns of these or from any future funds we may raise, in part because:
market conditions during previous periods may have been significantly more favorable for generating positive performance, particularly in our private equity business, than the market conditions we may experience in the future;
our private equity funds’ rates of returns, which are calculated on the basis of net asset value of the funds’ investments, reflect unrealized gains, which may never be realized;
our funds’ returns have benefited from investment opportunities and general market conditions that may not repeat themselves, including the availability of debt capital on attractive terms and the availability of distressed debt opportunities, and we may not be able to achieve the same returns or profitable investment opportunities or deploy capital as quickly;
the historical returns that we present in this report derive largely from the performance of our current private equity funds, whereas future fund returns will depend increasingly on the performance of our newer funds or funds not yet formed, which may have little or no realized investment track record;
Fund VI, Fund VII and Fund VIII are larger private equity funds, and this capital may not be deployed as profitably as other funds;
the attractive returns of certain of our funds have been driven by the rapid return of invested capital, which has not occurred with respect to all of our funds and we believe is less likely to occur in the future;
our track record with respect to our credit funds and real estate funds is relatively short as compared to our private equity funds;
in recent years, there has been increased competition for private equity investment opportunities resulting from the increased amount of capital invested in private equity funds and high liquidity in debt markets; and
our newly established funds may generate lower returns during the period that they take to deploy their capital.
Finally, our private equity IRRs have historically varied greatly from fund to fund. Accordingly, you should realize that the IRR going forward for any current or future fund may vary considerably from the historical IRR generated by any particular fund, or for our private equity funds as a whole. Future returns will also be affected by the risks described elsewhere in this report and risks of the industries and businesses in which a particular fund invests. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—The Historical Investment Performance of Our Funds.”
Our reported net asset values, rates of return and incentive income from affiliates are based in large part upon estimates of the fair value of our investments, which are based on subjective standards and may prove to be incorrect.
A large number of investments in our funds are illiquid and thus have no readily ascertainable market prices. We value these investments based on our estimate of their fair value as of the date of determination. We estimate the fair value of our investments based on third-party models, or models developed by us, which include discounted cash flow analyses and other techniques and may be based, at least in part, on independently sourced market parameters. The material estimates and assumptions used in these models include the timing and expected amount of cash flows, the appropriateness of discount rates used, and, in some cases, the ability to execute, the timing of and the estimated proceeds from expected financings. The actual results related to any particular investment often vary materially as a result of the inaccuracy of these estimates and assumptions. In addition, because many of the illiquid investments held by our funds are in industries or sectors which are unstable, in distress, or undergoing some uncertainty, such investments are subject to rapid changes in value caused by sudden company-specific or industry-wide developments.
We include the fair value of illiquid assets in the calculations of net asset values, returns of our funds and our AUM. Furthermore, we recognize incentive income from affiliates based in part on these estimated fair values. Because these valuations are inherently uncertain, they may fluctuate greatly from period to period. Also, they may vary greatly from the prices that would be obtained if the assets were to be liquidated on the date of the valuation and often do vary greatly from the prices we eventually realize.
In addition, the values of our investments in publicly traded assets are subject to significant volatility, including due to a number of factors beyond our control. These include actual or anticipated fluctuations in the quarterly and annual results of these companies or other companies in their industries, market perceptions concerning the availability of additional securities for sale, general economic, social or political developments, changes in industry conditions or government regulations, changes in management or capital structure and significant acquisitions and dispositions. Because the market prices of these securities can be volatile, the valuation of these assets will change from period to period, and the valuation for any particular period may not be realized at the time of disposition. In addition, because our private equity funds often hold very large amounts of the securities of their portfolio companies, the disposition of these securities often takes place over a long period of time, which can further expose us to volatility risk. Even if we hold a quantity of public securities that may be difficult to sell in a single transaction, we do not discount the market price of the security for purposes of our valuations.
If we realize value on an investment that is significantly lower than the value at which it was reflected in a fund’s net asset values, we would suffer losses in the applicable fund. This could in turn lead to a decline in asset management fees and a loss equal to the portion of the incentive income from affiliates reported in prior periods that was not realized upon disposition. These effects could become applicable to a large number of our investments if our estimates and assumptions used in estimating their fair values differ from future valuations due to market developments. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Segment Analysis” for information related to fund activity that is no longer consolidated. If asset values turn out to be materially different than values reflected in fund net asset values, fund investors could lose confidence which could, in turn, result in redemptions from our funds that permit redemptions or difficulties in raising additional investments.
We have experienced rapid growth, which may be difficult to sustain and which may place significant demands on our administrative, operational and financial resources.
Our AUM has grown significantly in the past and we are pursuing further growth in the near future. Our rapid growth has caused, and planned growth, if successful, will continue to cause, significant demands on our legal, accounting and operational infrastructure, and increased expenses. The complexity of these demands, and the expense required to address them, is a function not simply of the amount by which our AUM has grown, but of the growth in the variety, including the differences in strategy between, and complexity of, our different funds. In addition, we are required to continuously develop our systems and infrastructure in response to the increasing sophistication of the investment management market and legal, accounting, regulatory and tax developments.
Our future growth will depend in part, on our ability to maintain an operating platform and management system sufficient to address our growth and will require us to incur significant additional expenses and to commit additional senior management and operational resources. As a result, we face significant challenges:
in maintaining adequate financial, regulatory and business controls;
implementing new or updated information and financial systems and procedures; and
in training, managing and appropriately sizing our work force and other components of our businesses on a timely and cost-effective basis.
We may not be able to manage our expanding operations effectively or be able to continue to grow, and any failure to do so could adversely affect our ability to generate revenue and control our expenses.
Extensive regulation of our businesses affects our activities and creates the potential for significant liabilities and penalties. The possibility of increased regulatory focus could result in additional burdens on our businesses. Changes in tax or law and other legislative or regulatory changes could adversely affect us.
Overview of Our Regulatory Environment. We are subject to extensive regulation, including periodic examinations, by governmental and self-regulatory organizations in the jurisdictions in which we operate around the world. Many of these regulators, including U.S. and foreign government agencies and self-regulatory organizations, as well as state securities commissions in the United States, are empowered to conduct investigations and administrative proceedings that can result in fines, suspensions of personnel or other sanctions, including censure, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or the suspension or expulsion of an investment advisor from registration or memberships. Even if an investigation or proceeding did not result in a sanction or the sanction imposed against us or our personnel by a regulator were small in monetary amount, the adverse publicity relating to the investigation, proceeding or imposition of these sanctions could harm our reputation and cause us to lose existing investors or fail to gain new investors. The requirements imposed by our regulators are designed primarily to ensure the integrity of the financial markets and to protect investors in our funds and may not necessarily be designed to protect our shareholders. Consequently, these regulations often serve to limit our activities. For example, federal bank regulatory agencies have recently issued leveraged lending guidance covering transactions characterized by a degree of financial leverage. To the extent that such guidance limits the amount or cost of financing our funds are able to obtain for transactions, the returns on our funds’ investments may suffer.
Regulatory changes could adversely affect our business. As a result of highly publicized financial scandals, investors have exhibited concerns over the integrity of the financial markets and the regulatory environment in which we operate both in the United States and outside the United States is particularly likely to be subject to further regulation. There have been active debates both nationally and internationally over the appropriate extent of regulation and oversight in a number of areas which are or may be relevant to us, including private investment funds and their managers and the so-called “shadow banking” sector. Any changes in the regulatory framework applicable to our businesses may impose additional expenses on us, require the attention of senior management or result in limitations in the manner in which our business is conducted.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the “Dodd-Frank Act,” continues to impose significant new regulations on almost every aspect of the U.S. financial services industry, including aspects of our business and the markets in which we operate. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act includes the following provisions that could have an adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our businesses.
The Dodd-Frank Act established the Financial Stability Oversight Council (the “FSOC”), which is comprised of representatives of all the major U.S. financial regulators, to act as the financial system’s systemic risk regulator with the authority to review the activities of non-bank financial companies predominantly engaged in financial activities that are designated as “systemically important.” Such designation is applicable to companies where material financial distress could pose risk to the financial stability of the United States. On April 3, 2012, the
FSOC issued a final rule and interpretive guidance regarding the process by which it will designate nonbank financial companies as systemically important. The final rule and interpretive guidance detail a three-stage process, with the level of scrutiny increasing at each stage. Initially, the FSOC will apply a broad set of uniform quantitative metrics to screen out financial companies that do not warrant additional review. The FSOC will consider whether a company has at least $50 billion in total consolidated assets and whether it meets other thresholds relating to credit default swaps outstanding, derivative liabilities, total debt outstanding, a minimum leverage ratio of total consolidated assets (excluding separate accounts) to total equity of 15 to 1, and a short-term debt ratio of debt (with maturities of less than 12 months) to total consolidated assets (excluding separate accounts) of 10%. A company that meets or exceeds both the asset threshold and one of the other thresholds will be subject to additional review. The review criteria could, and is expected to, evolve over time. While we believe it to be unlikely that we would be designated as systemically important, if such designation were to occur, we would be subject to significantly increased levels of regulation, which includes, without limitation, a requirement to adopt heightened standards relating to capital, leverage, liquidity, risk management, credit exposure reporting and concentration limits, restrictions on acquisitions and being subject to annual stress tests by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”).
The Dodd-Frank Act, under what has become known as the “Volcker Rule,” generally prohibits depository institution holding companies (including certain foreign banks with U.S. branches and insurance companies with U.S. depository institution subsidiaries), insured depository institutions and subsidiaries and affiliates of such entities (collectively, “banking entities”) from investing in, sponsoring or having certain other relationships with private equity funds or hedge funds. The Volcker Rule became effective on July 21, 2012. The statute provides banking entities a period of two years to conform their activities and investments to the requirement of the statute, i.e., until July 21, 2014. However, the Federal Reserve is permitted to extend this conformance period, one year at a time, for a total of no more than three additional years. Pursuant to this authority on December 18, 2014, the Federal Reserve extended the conformance period for an additional year, until July 21, 2015. By the expiration of such date, banking entities must have wound down, sold or otherwise conformed their activities investments and relationships to the requirements of the Volcker Rule. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act includes a special provision to address the difficulty banking entities may experience in conforming investments in a private equity fund that qualifies as an “illiquid fund,” specifically, a fund that as of May 1, 2010 was principally invested in, or was contractually committed to principally invest in, illiquid assets and makes all investments pursuant to, and consistent with, an investment strategy to principally invest in illiquid assets. For such a fund, a banking entity may seek approval for an extended conformance period of up to five years. While there remains substantial uncertainty regarding the availability of extensions and transition period relief, as well as general practical implications under the Volcker Rule, there are likely to be adverse implications on our ability to raise funds from banking organizations as a result of this prohibition.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires many private equity and hedge fund advisers to register with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act, to maintain extensive records and to file reports if deemed necessary for purposes of systemic risk assessment by certain governmental bodies. As described elsewhere in this Form 10-K, all of the investment advisers of our investment funds operated in the U.S. are registered as investment advisers with the SEC.
The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes federal regulatory agencies to review and, in certain cases, prohibit compensation arrangements at financial institutions that give employees incentives to engage in conduct deemed to encourage inappropriate risk taking by covered financial institutions. Such restrictions could limit our ability to recruit and retain investment professionals and senior management executives.
Rules and regulations required under the Dodd-Frank Act have recently begun to become effective and comprehensively regulate the “over the counter” (“OTC”) derivatives markets for the first time. The Dodd-Frank Act imposes mandatory clearing and will impose exchange or swap execution facility trading and margin requirements on many swaps and derivative transactions (including formerly unregulated over-the-counter derivatives). The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) currently requires that certain interest rate and credit default index swaps be centrally cleared and the first requirement to execute certain contracts through a swap execution facility is now effective. Additional standardized swap contracts are expected to be subject to new clearing and execution requirements in the future. OTC trades submitted for clearing will be subject to minimum initial and variation margin requirements set by the relevant clearinghouse, as well as possible margin requirements mandated by the SEC or the CFTC. For swaps that are cleared through a clearinghouse, the funds will face the clearinghouse as legal counterparty and will be subject to clearinghouse performance and credit risk. Clearinghouse collateral requirements may differ from and be greater than the
collateral terms negotiated with derivatives counterparties in the OTC market. This may increase a fund’s cost in entering into these products and impact a fund’s ability to pursue certain investment strategies. OTC derivative dealers are also required to post margin to the clearinghouses through which they clear their customers’ trades instead of using such margin in their operations for cleared derivatives, as is currently permitted. This will increase the OTC derivative dealers’ costs and these increased costs are expected to be passed through to other market participants in the form of higher upfront and mark-to-market margin, less favorable trade pricing, and possible new or increased fees.
OTC trades not cleared through a registered clearinghouse may not be subject to the protections afforded to participants in cleared swaps (for example, centralized counterparty, customer asset segregation and mandatory margin requirements). The regulators have proposed margin requirements on non-cleared OTC derivatives, but these regulations have not yet been finalized. Although the Dodd-Frank Act includes limited exemptions from the clearing and margin requirements for so-called “end-users,” our funds and portfolio companies may not be able to rely on such exemptions.
The Dodd-Frank Act also creates new categories of regulated market participants, such as “swap-dealers,” “security-based swap dealers,” “major swap participants” and “major security-based swap participants” who will be subject to significant new capital, registration, recordkeeping, reporting, disclosure, business conduct and other regulatory requirements, which will give rise to new administrative costs. Even if certain new requirements are not directly applicable to us, they may still increase our costs of entering into transactions with the parties to whom the requirements are directly applicable. Moreover, new exchange or swap execution facility trading and trade reporting requirements may lead to reductions in the liquidity or price transparency of certain swaps and derivative transactions, causing higher pricing or reduced availability of derivatives, or the reduction of arbitrage opportunities for us, which could adversely affect the performance of certain of our trading strategies.
Position limits imposed by various regulators, self-regulatory organizations or trading facilities on derivatives may also limit our ability to affect desired trades. Position limits are the maximum amounts of net long or net short positions that any one person or entity may own or control in a particular financial instrument. For example, the CFTC, on November 5, 2013, re-proposed rules that would establish specific limits on positions in 28 physical commodity futures and option contracts as well as swaps that are economically equivalent to such contracts. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the SEC to set position limits on security-based swaps. If such proposed rules are adopted, we may be required to aggregate the positions of our various investment funds and the positions of our funds' portfolio companies. It is possible that trading decisions may have to be modified and that positions held may have to be liquidated in order to avoid exceeding such limits. Such modification or liquidation, if required, could adversely affect our operations and profitability.
On October 21, 2014, the final rules implementing the credit risk retention requirements of Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act (the "Risk Retention Rules") were issued. Except with respect to asset-backed securities transactions that satisfy certain exemptions, the Risk Retention Rules generally require sponsors of asset-backed securities transactions to retain not less than 5% of the credit risk of the assets collateralizing asset-backed securities. The Risk Retention Rules will become effective beginning on December 24, 2016 with respect to asset-backed securities collateralized by assets other than residential mortgages (and December 24, 2015 for asset-backed securities collateralized by residential mortgages). The new mandatory risk retention requirement for CLOs may result in us having to invest money in CLOs that we manage after the effective date of the Risk Retention Rules (including, potentially, in existing CLOs that are refinanced or as to which certain other material events occur after such effective date) that would otherwise be available for other uses. While the impact of the Risk Retention Rules on the loan securitization market and the leveraged loan market generally are uncertain, the Risk Retention Rules may impact our ability or desire to manage CLOs in the future.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires public companies to adopt and disclose policies requiring, in the event the company is required to issue an accounting restatement, the clawback of related incentive compensation from current and former executive officers.
The Dodd-Frank Act amends the Exchange Act to compensate and protect whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information to the SEC and establishes a fund to be used to pay whistleblowers who will be entitled to receive a payment equal to between 10% and 30% of certain monetary sanctions imposed in a successful government action resulting from the information provided by the whistleblower. We expect that these provisions will result in a significant increase in whistleblower claims across our industry, and investigating such claims
could generate significant expenses and take up significant management time, even for frivolous and non-meritorious claims.
Many of these provisions are subject to further rulemaking and to the discretion of regulatory bodies, such as the FSOC, the Federal Reserve and the SEC.
In June 2010, the SEC adopted a “pay-to-play” rule that restricts politically active investment advisors from managing state pension funds. The rule prohibits, among other things, a covered investment advisor from receiving compensation for advisory services provided to a government entity (such as a state pension fund) for a two-year period after the advisor, certain covered employees of the advisor or any covered political action committee controlled by the advisor or its employees makes a political contribution to certain government officials. In addition, a covered investment advisor is prohibited from engaging in political fundraising activities for certain elected officials or candidates in jurisdictions where such advisor is providing or seeking governmental business. This rule complicates and increases the compliance burden for our investment advisors. It will be imperative for a covered investment advisor to adopt an effective compliance program in light of the substantial penalties associated with the rule.
It is impossible to determine the full extent of the impact on us of the Dodd-Frank Act or any other new laws, regulations or initiatives that may be proposed or whether any of the proposals will become law. Any changes in the regulatory framework applicable to our business, including the changes described above, may impose additional costs on us, require the attention of our senior management or result in limitations on the manner in which we conduct our business. Moreover, as calls for additional regulation have increased, there may be a related increase in regulatory investigations of the trading and other investment activities of alternative asset management funds, including our funds. Compliance with any new laws or regulations could make compliance more difficult and expensive, affect the manner in which we conduct our business and adversely affect our profitability.
Exemptions from Certain Laws. We regularly rely on exemptions from various requirements of law or regulation, including the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, the Investment Company Act, CFTC regulations, the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, as amended, and the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended in conducting our activities. These exemptions are sometimes highly complex and may in certain circumstances depend on compliance by third parties whom we do not control. For example, in raising new funds, we typically rely on private placement exemptions from registration under the Securities Act, including Regulation D, which was recently amended to prohibit issuers (including our funds) from relying on certain of the exemptions from registration if the fund or any of its "covered persons" (including certain officers and directors, but also including certain third parties including, among others, promoters, placement agents and beneficial owners of 20% of outstanding voting securities of the fund) has been the subject of a "disqualifying event," or constitutes a "bad actor," which can result from a variety of criminal, regulatory and civil matters. If any of the covered persons associated with our funds is subject to a disqualifying event, one or more of our funds could lose the ability to raise capital in a Rule 506 private offering for a significant period of time, which could significantly impair our ability to raise new funds, and, therefore, could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if certain of our employees or any potential significant fund investor has been the subject of a disqualifying event, we could be required to reassign or terminate such an employee or we could be required to refuse the investment of such an investor, which could impair our relationships with investors, harm our reputation, or make it more difficult to raise new funds. If for any reason any of these exemptions were to become unavailable to us, we could become subject to regulatory action, third-party claims or be required to register under certain regulatory regimes, and our businesses could be materially and adversely affected. See, for example, “—Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure—If we were deemed an investment company under the Investment Company Act, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our businesses as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our businesses and the price of our Class A shares.”
Fund Regulatory Environment. The regulatory environment in which our funds operate may affect our businesses. For example, changes in antitrust laws or the enforcement of antitrust laws could affect the level of mergers and acquisitions activity, and changes in state laws may limit investment activities of state pension plans. See “Item 1. Business—Regulatory and Compliance Matters” for a further discussion of the regulatory environment in which we conduct our businesses.
Certain of the funds and accounts we manage that engage in originating, lending and/or servicing loans, may be subject to state and federal regulation, borrower disclosure requirements, limits on fees and interest rates on some loans, state lender licensing requirements and other regulatory requirements in the conduct of their business. These funds and accounts may also be subject to consumer disclosures and substantive requirements on consumer loan terms and other federal regulatory requirements applicable to consumer lending that are administered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These state and federal regulatory programs are designed to protect borrowers.
State and federal regulators and other governmental entities have authority to bring administrative enforcement actions or litigation to enforce compliance with applicable lending or consumer protection laws, with remedies that can include fines and monetary penalties, restitution of borrowers, injunctions to conform to law, or limitation or revocation of licenses and other remedies and penalties. In addition, lenders and servicers may be subject to litigation brought by or on behalf of borrowers for violations of laws or unfair or deceptive practices. Failure to conform to applicable regulatory and legal requirements could be costly and have a detrimental impact on certain of Apollo’s funds and accounts and ultimately on Apollo.
Portfolio Company Regulatory Environment. The regulatory environment in which our funds' portfolio companies operate may affect our business. For example, certain of our funds may invest in the natural resources industry where environmental laws, regulations and regulatory initiatives play a significant role and can have a substantial effect on investments in the industry. See for additional examples "—Insurance Regulation" and "—We are a holding company subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the "FERC"). An acquirer of our Class A shares may be required to obtain prior approval from the FERC and make other filings with FERC." Additionally, we or certain of our investment funds potentially could be held liable under ERISA for the pension obligations of one or more of our funds' portfolio companies if we or the investment fund were determined to be engaged in a "trade or business" and deemed part of the same "controlled group" as the portfolio company, and the pension obligations of any particular portfolio company could be material. In a 2013 decision of a federal appellate court (Sun Capital Partners III LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund), a private equity fund was held to be engaged in a "trade or business" under ERISA. In addition, regulators may scrutinize, investigate or take action against us as a result of actions or inactions by portfolio companies operating in a regulated industry if such a regulator were to deem, or potentially deem, such portfolio company to be under our control. For example, based on positions taken by European governmental authorities, we or certain of our investment funds potentially could be liable for fines if portfolio companies deemed to be under our control are found to have violated European antitrust laws. Such potential, or future, liability may materially affect our business.
Future Regulation. We may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed in the U.S. or elsewhere. As calls for additional regulation have increased, there may be a related increase in regulatory investigations of the trading and other investment activities of alternative asset management funds, including our funds. Such investigations may impose additional expenses on us, may require the attention of senior management and may result in fines or other sanctions if any of our funds are deemed to have violated any regulations.
We also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules. New laws or regulations could make compliance more difficult and expensive and affect the manner in which we conduct business and divert significant management and operational resources and attention from our business.
Apollo provides investment management services through registered investment advisors. Investment advisors are subject to extensive regulation in the United States and in the other countries in which our investment activities occur. The SEC oversees our activities as a registered investment advisor under the Investment Advisers Act. In the United Kingdom, we are subject to regulation by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, which replaced the Financial Services Authority as of April 1, 2013. Our other European operations, and our investment activities around the globe, are subject to a variety of regulatory regimes that vary country by country. A failure to comply with the obligations imposed by regulatory regimes to which we are subject, including the Investment Advisers Act, could result in investigations, sanctions and reputational damage.
In November 2010, the European Parliament adopted the Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers, or the “AIFM,” which was required to be implemented in the national laws of the European Union (“EU”) member states by July 22, 2013. The AIFM is also likely to be implemented in the countries which form part of the European Economic Area (the “EEA”). The AIFM imposes significant new regulatory requirements on investment managers operating within the EEA, including with respect to conduct of business, regulatory capital, valuations, disclosures and marketing, and rules on the structure of remuneration for certain personnel. Alternative investment funds organized outside of the EU in which interests are marketed within the EEA are now subject to significant conditions on their operations. In the immediate future, such funds may be marketed only in certain EEA jurisdictions and in compliance with requirements to register the fund for marketing in each relevant jurisdiction and to undertake periodic investor and regulatory reporting. In some countries, additional obligations are imposed, for example in Germany, marketing of a non-EEA fund now also requires the appointment of one or more depositaries (with cost implications for the fund). In the longer term (late 2015 at the earliest) non-EEA managers of non-EEA funds may be able to register under the AIFM. Where Apollo registers under the AIFM, Apollo will have more freedom to promote relevant funds in the EEA, although this will be subject to full compliance with all the requirements of the AIFM, which include (among other things) satisfying the competent authority of the robustness of internal arrangements with respect to risk management, in particular liquidity risks and additional operational and counterparty risks associated with short selling; the management and disclosure of conflicts of interest; the fair valuation of assets; and the security of depository/custodial arrangements. Additional requirements and restrictions apply where funds invest in an EEA portfolio company, including restrictions that may impose limits on certain investment and realization
strategies, such as dividend recapitalizations and reorganizations. Such rules could potentially impose significant additional costs on the operation of our business or investments in the EEA and could limit our operating flexibility within the relevant jurisdictions.
In July 2012, the European Parliament adopted the Regulation on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories, known as “EMIR.” EMIR comes into force in stages and implements requirements similar to, but not the same as, those in Title VII of Dodd Frank, in particular requiring reporting of all derivative transactions, risk mitigation (in particular initial and variation margin) for OTC derivative transactions and central clearing of certain OTC derivative contracts. EMIR has minimal impact on the Apollo funds at present but is likely to apply more fully as additional implementation stages are reached. Compliance with the requirements is likely to increase the burdens and costs of doing business.
In Germany, legislative amendments have been adopted which may limit deductibility of interest and other financing expenses in companies in which our funds have invested or may invest in the future. According to the German interest barrier rule, the tax deduction available to a company in respect of a net interest expense (interest expense less interest income) is limited to 30% of its tax earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”). Annual net interest expense that does not exceed the threshold of €3m can be deducted without any limitations for income tax purposes. Interest expense in excess of the interest deduction limitation may be carried forward indefinitely (subject to change in ownership restrictions) and used in future periods against all profits and gains. In respect of a tax group, interest paid by the German tax group entities to non-tax group parties (e.g. interest on bank debt, capex facility and working capital facility debt) will be restricted to 30% of the tax group’s tax EBITDA. However, the interest barrier rule may not apply where German company’s gearing under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) accounting principles is at maximum of 2% higher than the overall group’s leverage ratio at the level of the very top level entity which would be subject to IFRS consolidation (the “escape clause test”). This test is failed where any worldwide company of the entire group pays more than 10% of its net interest expense on debt to substantial (i.e. greater than 25%) shareholders, related parties of such shareholders (that are not members of the group) or secured third parties (although security granted by group members should not be harmful). If the group does not apply IFRS accounting principles, EU member countries’ generally accepted accounting principles or generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) may also be accepted for the purpose of the escape clause test. It should be noted that for trade tax purposes, there is principally a 25% add back on all deductible interest paid or accrued by any German entity after the consideration of a tax exempt amount kEUR 100 which is applied to the sum of all add back amounts. For trade tax purposes interest payments within a German tax group will not be considered. Our businesses are subject to the risk that similar measures might be introduced in other countries in which they currently have investments or plan to invest in the future, or that other legislative or regulatory measures might be promulgated in any of the countries in which we operate that adversely affect our businesses. Additionally, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development ("OECD") issued an action plan in July 2013 calling for a coordinated multi-jurisdictional approach to "base erosion and profit shifting" by multinational companies. The action plan identified 15 actions the OECD determined are needed to address "base erosion and profit shifting" and generally set target dates for completion of each of the items between 2014 and 2015. Any changes to international tax laws or foreign domestic tax laws, including new definitions of “permanent establishment”, could impact the tax treatment of our foreign earnings and adversely impact the investment returns of our funds.
Insurance Regulation. State insurance departments have broad administrative powers over the insurance business of our insurance company affiliates, including insurance company licensing and examination, agent licensing, establishment of reserve requirements and solvency standards, premium rate regulation, admissibility of assets, policy form approval, unfair trade and claims practices, payment of dividends and distributions to shareholders, review and/or approval of transactions with affiliates and other matters. State regulators regularly review and update these and other requirements.
Currently, there are proposals to increase the scope of regulation of insurance holding companies in both the United States and internationally. In the United States, the NAIC has promulgated amendments to its insurance holding company system model law and regulations for consideration by the various states that would provide for more extensive informational reporting regarding parents and other affiliates of insurance companies, with the purpose of protecting domestic insurers from enterprise risk, including requiring an annual enterprise risk report by the ultimate controlling person identifying the material risks within the insurance holding company system that could pose enterprise risk to domestic insurers. To date, both Iowa and New York have enacted laws to adopt such amendments. Internationally, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors is in the process of adopting a framework for the “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups. The NAIC has also promulgated additional amendments to its insurance holding company system model law that address “group wide” supervision of internationally active insurance groups. Changes to existing laws or regulations must be adopted by individual states or foreign jurisdictions before they will become effective. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty the additional capital requirements, compliance costs or other burdens these requirements may impose on us and our insurance company affiliates.
The Dodd-Frank Act created the Federal Insurance Office (the “FIO”) within the Department of Treasury headed by a Director appointed by the Treasury Secretary. The FIO is designed principally to exercise a monitoring and information gathering role, rather than a regulatory role. In that capacity, the FIO has been charged with providing reports to the U.S. Congress on (i) modernization of U.S. insurance regulation and (ii) the U.S. and global reinsurance market. Such reports could ultimately lead to changes in the regulation of insurers and reinsurers in the U.S.
We are a holding company subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “FERC”). An acquirer of our Class A shares may be required to obtain prior approval from the FERC and make other filings with the FERC.
We are a holding company subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC as a result of certain of the funds we manage directly or indirectly owning, controlling or holding, with power to vote, 10% or more of the voting securities in a “public-utility company” or a “holding company” of a public-utility company (as those terms are defined in the U.S. Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005, or “PUHCA”). Absent an exemption to or waiver from the FERC’s regulations implementing PUHCA, we and any affiliate, associate company and subsidiary company (as those terms are defined in PUHCA), would be required to maintain and make available to FERC, such books, accounts, memoranda and other records of transactions as the FERC may deem relevant to electric or natural gas rates subject to the FERC’s jurisdiction. We have submitted a notification of holding company status and a notification of waiver of the accounting, record retention and reporting requirements to the FERC. An acquirer of securities representing 10% or more of the total voting power of Apollo Global Management, LLC likewise would be required to submit similar filings to the FERC under PUHCA.
We are a holding company with subsidiaries that are the general partner and manager of certain funds that have an investment in entities that are “public utilities” (as defined in the Federal Power Act (the “FPA”)) and, therefore, subject to FERC’s jurisdiction under the FPA. An acquirer of our Class A shares that (i) is, or is affiliated with, a “holding company” of a public-utility company, or (ii) is itself a public utility under the FPA, may have its own independent obligation to obtain prior approval from, or make other filings with, FERC with respect to an acquisition of 10% or more of the total voting power of Apollo Global Management, LLC.
Our revenue, net income and cash flow are all highly variable, which may make it difficult for us to achieve steady earnings growth on a quarterly basis and may cause the price of our Class A shares to decline.
Our revenue, net income and cash flow are all highly variable, primarily due to the fact that carried interest from our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real estate funds, which constitutes the largest portion of income from our combined businesses, and the transaction and advisory fees that we receive can vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. In addition, the investment returns of most of our funds are volatile. We may also experience fluctuations in our results from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a number of other factors, including changes in the values of our funds’ investments, changes in the amount of distributions, dividends or interest paid in respect of investments, changes in our operating expenses, the degree to which we encounter competition and general economic and market conditions. Our future results will also be significantly dependent on the success of our larger funds (e.g., Fund VIII), changes in the value of which may result in fluctuations in our results. In addition, carried interest income from our private equity funds and certain of our credit and real estate funds is subject to contingent repayment by the general partner if, upon the final distribution, the relevant fund’s general partner has received cumulative carried interest on individual portfolio investments in excess of the amount of carried interest it would be entitled to from the profits calculated for all portfolio investments in the aggregate. See “—Poor performance of our funds would cause a decline in our revenue and results of operations, may obligate us to repay incentive income previously paid to us and would adversely affect our ability to raise capital for future funds.” Such variability may lead to volatility in the trading price of our Class A shares and cause our results for a particular period not to be indicative of our performance in a future period. It may be difficult for us to achieve steady growth in net income and cash flow on a quarterly basis, which could in turn lead to large adverse movements in the price of our Class A shares or increased volatility in our Class A share price generally.
The timing of carried interest generated by our funds is uncertain and will contribute to the volatility of our results. Carried interest depends on our funds’ performance. It takes a substantial period of time to identify attractive investment opportunities, to raise all the funds needed to make an investment and then to realize the cash value or other proceeds of an investment through a sale, public offering, recapitalization or other exit. Even if an investment proves to be profitable, it may be several years before any profits can be realized in cash or other proceeds. We cannot predict when, or if, any realization of investments will occur. Generally, with respect to our private equity funds, although we recognize carried interest income on an accrual basis, we receive private equity carried interest payments only upon disposition of an investment by the relevant fund, which contributes to the volatility of our cash flow. If we were to have a realization event in a particular quarter or year, it may have a significant impact on our results for that particular quarter or year that may not be replicated in subsequent periods. We recognize revenue on investments in our funds based on our allocable share of realized and unrealized gains (or losses) reported by such funds, and a
decline in realized or unrealized gains, or an increase in realized or unrealized losses, would adversely affect our revenue, which could further increase the volatility of our results. With respect to a number of our credit funds, our incentive income is generally paid annually, semi-annually or quarterly, and the varying frequency of these payments will contribute to the volatility of our revenues and cash flow. Furthermore, we earn this incentive income only if the net asset value of a fund has increased or, in the case of certain funds, increased beyond a particular threshold. Certain of our credit funds also have “high water marks” with respect to the investors in these funds. If the high water mark for a particular investor is not surpassed, we would not earn incentive income with respect to such investor during a particular period even though such investor had positive returns in such period as a result of losses in prior periods. If such an investor experiences losses, we will not be able to earn incentive income from such investor until it surpasses the previous high water mark. The incentive income we earn is therefore dependent on the net asset value of investors’ investments in the fund, which could lead to significant volatility in our results.
Because our revenue, net income and cash flow can be highly variable from quarter to quarter and year to year, we plan not to provide any guidance regarding our expected quarterly and annual operating results. The lack of guidance may affect the expectations of public market analysts and could cause increased volatility in our Class A share price.
The investment management business is intensely competitive, which could have a material adverse impact on us.
The investment management business is intensely competitive. We face competition both in the pursuit of outside investors for our funds and in acquiring investments in attractive portfolio companies and making other investments. It is possible that it will become increasingly difficult for our funds to raise capital as funds compete for investments from a limited number of qualified investors. As a result of the global economic downturn during 2008 and 2009 and generally poor returns in alternative asset investment businesses during the crisis, institutional investors suffered from decreasing returns, liquidity pressure, increased volatility and difficulty maintaining targeted asset allocations, and a significant number of investors materially decreased or temporarily stopped making new fund investments during this period. As the economy continues to recover, such investors may elect to reduce their overall portfolio allocations to alternative investments such as private equity and hedge funds, resulting in a smaller overall pool of available capital in our industry. Even if such investors continue to invest at historic levels, they may seek to negotiate reduced fee structures or other modifications to fund structures as a condition to investing.
In the event all or part of this analysis proves true, when trying to raise new capital we will be competing for fewer total available assets in an increasingly competitive environment which could lead to fee reductions and redemptions as well as difficulty in raising new capital. Such changes would adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
Competition among funds is based on a variety of factors, including:
investor liquidity and willingness to invest;
investor perception of investment managers’ drive, focus and alignment of interest;
quality of service provided to and duration of relationship with investors;
business reputation; and
the level of fees and expenses charged for services.
We compete in all aspects of our businesses with a large number of investment management firms, private equity, credit and real estate fund sponsors and other financial institutions. A number of factors serve to increase our competitive risks:
fund investors may develop concerns that we will allow a business to grow to the detriment of its performance;
investors may reduce their investments in our funds or not make additional investments in our funds based upon current market conditions, their available capital or their perception of the health of our businesses;
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 also have a lower cost of capital and access to funding sources that are not available to us, which may create competitive disadvantages for us 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;
some of our funds may not perform as well as competitors’ funds or other available investment products;
our competitors that are corporate buyers may be able to achieve synergistic cost savings in respect of an investment, which may provide them with a competitive advantage in bidding for an investment;
some fund investors may prefer to invest with an investment manager that is not publicly traded;
there are relatively few barriers to entry impeding new private equity and capital markets fund management firms, and the successful efforts of new entrants into our various businesses, including former “star” portfolio managers at large diversified financial institutions as well as such institutions themselves, will continue to result in increased competition;
there are relatively few barriers to entry to our businesses, implementing an integrated platform similar to ours or the strategies that we deploy at our funds, such as distressed investing, which we believe are our competitive strengths, except that our competitors would need to hire professionals with the investment expertise or grow it internally; and
other industry participants continuously seek to recruit our investment professionals away from us.
These and other factors could reduce our earnings and revenues and have a material adverse effect on our businesses. In addition, if we are forced to compete with other alternative investment managers on the basis of price, we may not be able to maintain our current management fee and incentive income structures. We have historically competed primarily on the performance of our funds, and not on the level of our fees or incentive income relative to those of our competitors. However, there is a risk that fees and incentive income in the alternative investment management industry will decline, without regard to the historical performance of a manager. Fee or incentive income reductions on existing or future funds, without corresponding decreases in our cost structure, would adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
Our ability to retain our investment professionals is critical to our success and our ability to grow depends on our ability to attract additional key personnel.
Our success depends on our ability to retain our investment professionals and recruit additional qualified personnel. We anticipate that it will be necessary for us to add investment professionals as we pursue our growth strategy. However, we may not succeed in recruiting additional personnel or retaining current personnel, as the market for qualified investment professionals is extremely competitive. Our investment professionals possess substantial experience and expertise in investing, are responsible for locating and executing our funds’ investments, have significant relationships with the institutions that are the source of many of our funds’ investment opportunities, and in certain cases have key relationships with our fund investors. Therefore, if our investment professionals join competitors or form competing companies it could result in the loss of significant investment opportunities and certain existing fund investors. Legislation has been proposed in the U.S. Congress to treat portions of carried interest as ordinary income rather than as capital gain for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Because we compensate our investment professionals in large part by giving them an equity interest in our business or a right to receive carried interest, such legislation could adversely affect our ability to recruit, retain and motivate our current and future investment professionals. See “—Risks Related to Taxation—Our structure involves complex provisions of U.S. Federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. Our structure is also subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative change and differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.” Many of our investment professionals are also entitled to receive carried interest or incentive income, and fluctuations in the distributions generated from such sources could also impair our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel. The loss of even a small number of our investment professionals could jeopardize the performance of our funds, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Efforts to retain or attract investment professionals may result in significant additional expenses, which could adversely affect our profitability.
We strive to maintain a work environment that promotes our culture of collaboration, motivation and alignment of interests with our fund investors and shareholders. If we do not continue to develop and implement effective processes and tools to manage growth and reinforce this vision, our ability to compete successfully and achieve our business objectives could be impaired, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be successful in expanding into new investment strategies, markets and businesses.
We actively consider the opportunistic expansion of our businesses, both geographically and into complementary new investment strategies. We may not be successful in any such attempted expansion. Attempts to expand our businesses involve a number of special risks, including some or all of the following:
the diversion of management’s attention from our core businesses;
the disruption of our ongoing businesses;
entry into markets or businesses in which we may have limited or no experience;
increasing demands on our operational systems;
potential increase in investor concentration; and
the broadening of our geographic footprint, increasing the risks associated with conducting operations in foreign jurisdictions.
Additionally, any expansion of our businesses could result in significant increases in our outstanding indebtedness and debt service requirements, which would increase the risks in investing in our Class A shares and may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.
We also may not be successful in identifying new investment strategies or geographic markets that increase our profitability, or in identifying and acquiring new businesses that increase our profitability. Because we have not yet identified these potential new investment strategies, geographic markets or businesses, we cannot identify for you all the risks we may face and the potential adverse consequences on us and your investment that may result from our attempted expansion. We also do not know how long it may take for us to expand, if we do so at all. We have also entered into strategic partnerships and separately managed accounts, which lack the scale of our traditional funds and are more costly to administer. The prevalence of these accounts may also present conflicts and introduce complexity in the deployment of capital. We have total discretion, at the direction of our manager, without needing to seek approval from our board of directors or shareholders, to enter into new investment strategies, geographic markets and businesses, other than expansions involving transactions with affiliates which may require board approval.
Many of our funds invest in relatively high-risk, illiquid assets 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.
Many of our funds invest in securities that are not publicly traded. In many cases, our funds may be prohibited by contract or by applicable securities laws from selling such securities for a period of time. Our funds will generally not be able to sell these securities publicly unless their sale is registered under applicable securities laws, or unless an exemption from such registration requirements is available. Accordingly, our funds may be forced, under certain conditions, to sell securities at a loss. The ability of many of our funds, particularly our private equity funds, to dispose of investments is heavily dependent on the public equity markets, inasmuch as the ability to realize value from an investment may depend upon the ability to complete an IPO of the portfolio company in which such investment is held. Furthermore, large holdings even of publicly traded equity securities can often be disposed of only over a substantial period of time, exposing the investment returns to risks of downward movement in market prices during the disposition period.
Dependence on significant leverage in investments by our funds could adversely affect our ability to achieve attractive rates of return on those investments.
Because certain of our funds’ investments rely heavily on the use of leverage, our ability to achieve attractive rates of return on investments will depend on our continued ability to access sufficient sources of indebtedness at attractive rates. For example, in many of our private equity investments, indebtedness may constitute 70% or more of a portfolio company’s total debt and equity capitalization, including debt that may be incurred in connection with the investment, and a portfolio company’s leverage may increase as a result of recapitalization transactions subsequent to the company’s acquisition by a private equity fund. The absence of available sources of senior debt financing for extended periods of time could therefore materially and adversely affect our funds. An increase in either the general levels of interest rates or in the risk spread demanded by sources of indebtedness would make it more expensive to finance those investments. Increases in interest rates could also make it more difficult to locate and consummate private equity investments because other potential buyers, including operating companies acting as strategic buyers, may be able to bid for an asset at a higher price due to a lower overall cost of capital. In addition, a portion of the indebtedness used to finance certain of our fund investments often includes high-yield debt securities. Availability of capital from the high-yield debt markets is subject to significant volatility, and there may be times when we might not be able to access those markets at attractive rates, or at all. For example, the dislocation in the credit markets which we believe began in July 2007 and the record backlog of supply in the debt markets resulting from such dislocation materially affected the ability and willingness of banks to underwrite new high-yield debt securities until relatively recently. The availability of debt facilities may be further limited following guidance issued to banks in March 2013 by the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. relating to loans to highly leveraged companies, and reported recent statements by the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reaffirming their position on such loans.
Investments in highly leveraged entities are inherently more sensitive to declines in revenues, increases in expenses and interest rates and adverse economic, market and industry developments. The incurrence of a significant amount of indebtedness by an entity could, among other things:
give rise to an obligation to make mandatory prepayments of debt using excess cash flow, which might limit the entity’s ability to respond to changing industry conditions to the extent additional cash is needed
for the response, to make unplanned but necessary capital expenditures or to take advantage of growth opportunities;
allow even moderate reductions in operating cash flow to render it unable to service its indebtedness, leading to a bankruptcy or other reorganization of the entity and a loss of part or all of the equity investment in it;
limit the entity’s ability to adjust to changing market conditions, thereby placing it at a competitive disadvantage compared to its competitors who have relatively less debt;
limit the entity’s ability to engage in strategic acquisitions that might be necessary to generate attractive returns or further growth; and
limit the entity’s ability to obtain additional financing or increase the cost of obtaining such financing, including for capital expenditures, working capital or general corporate purposes.
As a result, the risk of loss associated with a leveraged entity is generally greater than for companies with comparatively less debt. For example, many investments consummated by private equity sponsors during 2005, 2006 and 2007 that utilized significant amounts of leverage subsequently experienced severe economic stress and in certain cases defaulted on their debt obligations due to a decrease in revenues and cash flow precipitated by the economic downturn.
When certain of our funds’ existing portfolio investments reach the point when debt incurred to finance those investments matures in significant amounts and must be either repaid or refinanced, those investments may materially suffer if they have generated insufficient cash flow to repay maturing debt and there is insufficient capacity and availability in the financing markets to permit them to refinance maturing debt on satisfactory terms, or at all. If a limited availability of financing for such purposes were to persist for an extended period of time, when significant amounts of the debt incurred to finance these funds’ existing portfolio investments came due, these funds could be materially and adversely affected.
Our credit funds may choose to use leverage as part of their respective investment programs and regularly borrow a substantial amount of their capital. The use of leverage poses a significant degree of risk and enhances the possibility of a significant loss in the value of the investment portfolio. The credit funds may borrow money from time to time to purchase or carry securities. The interest expense and other costs incurred in connection with such borrowing may not be recovered by appreciation in the securities purchased or carried, and will be lost-and the timing and magnitude of such losses may be accelerated or exacerbated-in the event of a decline in the market value of such securities. Gains realized with borrowed funds may cause the fund’s net asset value to increase at a faster rate than would be the case without borrowings. However, if investment results fail to cover the cost of borrowings, the fund’s net asset value could also decrease faster than if there had been no borrowings.
In addition, as a business development company under the Investment Company Act, AINV is permitted to issue senior securities in amounts such that its asset coverage ratio equals at least 200% after each issuance of senior securities. Further, AFT and AIF, as registered investment companies, are permitted to (i) issue preferred shares in amounts such that their respective asset coverage equals at least 200% after issuance and (ii) to incur indebtedness, including through the issuance of debt securities, so long as immediately thereafter the fund will have an asset coverage of at least 300% after issuance. The ability of each of AFT, AIF and AINV to pay dividends will be restricted if its asset coverage ratio falls below 200% and any amounts that it uses to service its indebtedness are not available for dividends to its common stockholders. An increase in interest rates could also decrease the value of fixed-rate debt investments that our funds make. Any of the foregoing circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
The potential requirement to convert our financial statements from being prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America to International Financial Reporting Standards may strain our resources and increase our annual expenses.
As a public entity, the SEC may require in the future that we report our financial results under IFRS, instead of under U.S. GAAP. IFRS is a set of accounting principles that has been gaining acceptance on a worldwide basis. These standards are published by the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, or “IASB,” and are more focused on objectives and principles and less reliant on detailed rules than U.S. GAAP. Today, there remain significant and material differences in several key areas between U.S. GAAP and IFRS which would affect Apollo. Additionally, U.S. GAAP provides specific guidance in classes of accounting transactions for which equivalent guidance in IFRS does not exist. The adoption of IFRS is highly complex and would have an impact on many aspects and operations of Apollo, including but not limited to financial accounting and reporting systems, internal controls, taxes, borrowing covenants and cash management. It is expected that a significant amount of time, internal and external resources and expenses over a multi-year period would be required for this conversion.
We face operational risk from errors made in the execution, confirmation or settlement of transactions and our dependence on our headquarters in New York City and third-party providers may have an adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our businesses without interruption which could result in losses to us or limit our growth.
We face operational risk from errors made in the execution, confirmation or settlement of transactions. We also face operational risk from transactions not being properly recorded, evaluated or accounted for in our funds. In particular, our capital markets oriented credit business is highly dependent on our ability to process and evaluate, on a daily basis, transactions across markets and geographies in a time-sensitive, efficient and accurate manner. Consequently, we rely heavily on our financial, accounting and other data processing systems. New investment products we may introduce could create a significant risk that our existing systems may not be adequate to identify or control the relevant risks in the investment strategies employed by such new investment products. In addition, our information systems and technology might not be able to accommodate our growth, and the cost of maintaining such systems might increase from its current level. These risks could cause us to suffer financial loss, a disruption of our businesses, liability to our funds, regulatory intervention and reputational damage.
Furthermore, we depend on our headquarters, which is located in New York City, for the operation of many of our businesses. A disaster or a disruption in the infrastructure that supports our businesses, including a disruption involving electronic communications or other services used by us or third parties with whom we conduct business, or directly affecting our headquarters, may have an adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our businesses without interruption which could have a material adverse effect on us. Although we have disaster recovery programs in place, these may not be sufficient to mitigate the harm that may result from such a disaster or disruption. In addition, insurance and other safeguards might only partially reimburse us for our losses.
Finally, we rely on third-party service providers for certain aspects of our businesses, including for certain information systems, technology and administration of our funds and compliance matters. Any interruption or deterioration in the performance of these third parties could impair the quality of the funds’ operations and could impact our reputation, adversely affect our businesses and limit our ability to grow.
We rely on our information systems to conduct our business, and failure to protect these systems against security breaches could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Additionally, if these systems fail or become unavailable for any significant period of time, our business could be harmed.
The efficient operation of our business is dependent on computer hardware and software systems. Information systems are vulnerable to security breaches by computer hackers and cyber terrorists. We rely on industry accepted security measures and technology to securely maintain confidential and proprietary information maintained on our information systems. However, these measures and technology may not adequately prevent security breaches. In addition, the unavailability of the information systems or the failure of these systems to perform as anticipated for any reason could disrupt our business and could result in decreased performance and increased operating costs, causing our business and results of operations to suffer. Any significant interruption or failure of our information systems or any significant breach of security could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our funds' portfolio companies also rely on data processing systems and the secure processing, storage and transmission of information, including payment and health information. A disruption or compromise of these systems could have a material adverse effect on the value of these businesses.
We derive a substantial portion of our revenues from funds managed pursuant to management agreements that may be terminated or fund partnership agreements that permit fund investors to request liquidation of investments in our funds on short notice.
The terms of our funds generally give either the general partner of the fund or the fund’s board of directors the right to terminate our investment management agreement with the fund. However, insofar as we control the general partner of our funds that are limited partnerships, the risk of termination of investment management agreement for such funds is limited, subject to our fiduciary or contractual duties as general partner. This risk is more significant for certain of our funds which have independent boards of directors.
With respect to our funds that are subject to the Investment Company Act, following the initial two years of operation each fund’s investment management agreement must be approved annually by such fund’s board of directors or by the vote of a majority of the shareholders and the majority of the independent members of such fund’s board of directors and, as required by law. Each investment management agreement for such funds can also be terminated by the majority of the shareholders. Termination of these agreements would reduce the fees we earn from the relevant funds, which could have a material adverse effect on our
results of operations. Currently, AFT and AIF, management investment companies under the Investment Company Act, and AINV, a management investment company that has elected to be treated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act, are subject to these provisions of the Investment Company Act.
The governing documents of certain of our funds provide that a simple majority of a fund’s unaffiliated investors have the right to liquidate that fund, which would cause management fees and incentive income to terminate. Our ability to realize incentive income from such funds also would be adversely affected if we are required to liquidate fund investments at a time when market conditions result in our obtaining less for investments than could be obtained at later times. We do not know whether, and under what circumstances, the investors in our funds are likely to exercise such right.
In addition, the management agreements of our funds would terminate if we were to experience a change of control without obtaining investor consent. Such a change of control could be deemed to occur in the event our Managing Partners exchange enough of their interests in the Apollo Operating Group into our Class A shares such that our Managing Partners no longer own a controlling interest in us. We cannot be certain that consents required for the assignment of our management agreements will be obtained if such a deemed change of control occurs. Termination of these agreements would affect the fees we earn from the relevant funds and the transaction and advisory fees we earn from the underlying portfolio companies, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our use of leverage to finance our businesses will expose us to substantial risks, which are exacerbated by our funds’ use of leverage to finance investments.
We have senior notes outstanding and loans outstanding and an undrawn revolving credit facility under the 2013 AMH Credit Facilities described in note 14 to our consolidated financial statements. We may choose to finance our business operations through further borrowings. Our existing and future indebtedness exposes us to the typical risks associated with the use of leverage, including those discussed above under “—Dependence on significant leverage in investments by our funds could adversely affect our ability to achieve attractive rates of return on those investments.” These risks are exacerbated by certain of our funds’ use of leverage to finance investments and, if they were to occur, could cause us to suffer a decline in the credit ratings assigned to our debt by rating agencies, if any, which might result in an increase in our borrowing costs or result in other material adverse effects on our businesses.
As these borrowings, notes and other indebtedness mature (or are otherwise repaid prior to their scheduled maturities), we may be required to either refinance them by entering into new facilities or issuing new notes, which could result in higher borrowing costs, or issuing equity, which would dilute existing shareholders. We could also repay them by using cash on hand or cash from the sale of our assets. We could have difficulty entering into new facilities, issuing new notes or issuing equity in the future on attractive terms, or at all.
We are subject to third-party litigation that could result in significant liabilities and reputational harm, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
In general, we will be exposed to risk of litigation by our investors if our management of any fund is alleged to constitute bad faith, gross negligence, willful misconduct, fraud, willful or reckless disregard for our duties to the fund or other forms of misconduct. Investors could sue us to recover amounts lost by our funds due to our alleged misconduct, up to the entire amount of loss. Further, we may be subject to litigation arising from investor dissatisfaction with the performance of our funds or from third-party allegations that we (i) improperly exercised control or influence over companies in which our funds have large investments or (ii) are liable for actions or inactions taken by portfolio companies that such third parties argue we control. By way of example, we, our funds and certain of our employees are each exposed to the risks of litigation relating to investment activities in our funds and actions taken by the officers and directors (some of whom may be Apollo employees) of portfolio companies, such as the risk of shareholder litigation by other shareholders of public companies in which our funds have large investments. As an additional example, we are sometimes listed as a co-defendant in actions against portfolio companies on the theory that we control such portfolio companies. We are also exposed to risks of litigation or investigation relating to transactions that presented conflicts of interest that were not properly addressed. In addition, our rights to indemnification by the funds we manage may not be upheld if challenged, and our indemnification rights generally do not cover bad faith, gross negligence, willful misconduct, fraud, willful or reckless disregard for our duties to the fund or other forms of misconduct. If we are required to incur all or a portion of the costs arising out of litigation or investigations as a result of inadequate insurance proceeds or failure to obtain indemnification from our funds, our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity would be materially adversely affected.
In addition, with a workforce that includes many very highly paid investment professionals, we face the risk of lawsuits relating to claims for compensation, which may individually or in the aggregate be significant in amount. Such claims are more likely to occur in the current environment where individual employees may experience significant volatility in their year-to-year
compensation due to trading performance or other issues and in situations where previously highly compensated employees were terminated for performance or efficiency reasons. The cost of settling such claims could adversely affect our results of operations.
If any civil or criminal lawsuits brought against us were to result in a finding of substantial legal liability or culpability, the lawsuit could, in addition to any financial damage, cause significant reputational harm to us, which could seriously harm our business. We depend to a large extent on our business relationships and our reputation for integrity and high-caliber professional services to attract and retain investors and qualified professionals and to pursue investment opportunities for our funds. As a result, allegations of improper conduct by private litigants or regulators, whether the ultimate outcome is favorable or unfavorable to us, as well as negative publicity and press speculation about us, our investment activities or the private equity industry in general, whether or not valid, may harm our reputation, which may be more damaging to our business than to other types of businesses. See “Item 3. Legal Proceedings.”
Our failure to deal appropriately with conflicts of interest could damage our reputation and adversely affect our businesses.
As we have expanded and as we continue to expand the number and scope of our businesses, we increasingly confront potential conflicts of interest relating to our funds’ investment activities. Certain of our funds may have overlapping investment objectives, including funds that have different fee structures, and potential conflicts may arise with respect to our decisions regarding how to allocate investment opportunities among 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 other funds to take any action. In addition, fund investors (or holders of Class A shares) may perceive conflicts of interest regarding investment decisions for funds in which our Managing Partners, who have and may continue to make significant personal investments in a variety of Apollo funds, are personally invested. Similarly, conflicts of interest may exist in the valuation of our investments and regarding decisions about the allocation of specific investment opportunities among us and our funds and the allocation of fees and costs among us, our funds and their portfolio companies.
Pursuant to the terms of our operating agreement, whenever a potential conflict of interest exists or arises between any of the Managing Partners, one or more directors or their respective affiliates, on the one hand, and us, any of our subsidiaries or any shareholder other than a Managing Partner, on the other, any resolution or course of action by our board of directors shall be permitted and deemed approved by all shareholders if the resolution or course of action (i) has been specifically approved by a majority of the voting power of our outstanding voting shares (excluding voting shares owned by our manager or its affiliates) or by a conflicts committee of the board of directors composed entirely of one or more independent directors, (ii) is on terms no less favorable to us or our shareholders (other than a Managing Partner) than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or (iii) it is fair and reasonable to us and our shareholders taking into account the totality of the relationships between the parties involved. All conflicts of interest described in this report will be deemed to have been specifically approved by all shareholders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is possible that potential or perceived conflicts could give rise to investor 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 businesses in a number of ways, including as a result of redemptions by our investors from our funds, an inability to raise additional funds and a reluctance of counterparties to do business with us.
Our organizational documents do not limit our ability to enter into new lines of businesses, and we may expand into new investment strategies, geographic markets and businesses, each of which may result in additional risks and uncertainties in our businesses.
We intend, to the extent that market conditions warrant, to grow our businesses by increasing AUM in existing businesses and expanding into new investment strategies, geographic markets and businesses. Our organizational documents, however, do not limit us to the investment management business. Accordingly, we may pursue growth through acquisitions of other investment management companies, acquisitions of critical business partners or other strategic initiatives, which may include entering into new lines of business, such as the insurance, broker-dealer or financial advisory industries. In addition, we expect opportunities will arise to acquire other alternative or traditional asset managers. To the extent we make strategic investments or acquisitions, undertake other strategic initiatives or enter into a new line of business, we will face numerous risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with (i) the required investment of capital and other resources, (ii) the possibility that we have insufficient expertise to engage in such activities profitably or without incurring inappropriate amounts of risk, (iii) combining or integrating operational and management systems and controls and (iv) the broadening of our geographic footprint, including the risks associated with conducting operations in foreign jurisdictions. 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. If a new business generates insufficient revenues or if we are unable to
efficiently manage our expanded operations, our results of operations will be adversely affected. Our strategic initiatives may include joint ventures, in which case we will be 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.
Employee misconduct could harm us by impairing our ability to attract and retain investors and by subjecting us to significant legal liability, regulatory scrutiny and reputational harm. Fraud and other deceptive practices or other misconduct at our portfolio companies could similarly subject us to liability and reputational damage and also harm our performance.
Our reputation is critical to maintaining and developing relationships with the investors in our funds, potential fund investors and third parties with whom we do business. In recent years, there have been a number of highly publicized cases involving fraud, conflicts of interest or other misconduct by individuals in the financial services industry. There is a risk that our employees could engage in misconduct that adversely affects our businesses. For example, if an employee were to engage in illegal or suspicious activities, we could be subject to regulatory sanctions and suffer serious harm to our reputation, financial position, investor relationships and ability to attract future investors. It is not always possible to deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in all cases. Misconduct by our employees, or the employees of our portfolio companies, or even unsubstantiated allegations, could result in a material adverse effect on our reputation and our businesses.
In recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC have devoted greater resources to enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). In addition, the United Kingdom has significantly expanded the reach of its anti-bribery laws. While we have developed and implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure strict compliance by us and our personnel with the FCPA, such policies and procedures may not be effective in all instances to prevent violations. Any determination that we have violated the FCPA or other applicable anticorruption laws or anti-bribery laws could subject us to, among other things, civil and criminal penalties, material fines, profit disgorgement, injunctions on future conduct, securities litigation and a general loss of investor confidence, any one of which could adversely affect our business prospects and/or financial position.
In addition, we could also be adversely affected if there is misconduct by individuals associated with portfolio companies in which our funds invest. For example, failures by personnel, or individuals acting on behalf, of our funds’ portfolio companies to comply with anti-bribery, trade sanctions or other legal and regulatory requirements could adversely affect our business and reputation. There are a number of grounds upon which such misconduct at a portfolio company could subject us to criminal and/or civil liability, including on the basis of actual knowledge, willful blindness, or control person liability. Such misconduct might also undermine our funds' due diligence efforts with respect to such companies and could negatively affect the valuation of a fund’s investments.
Underwriting activities expose us to risks.
Apollo Global Securities, LLC, a subsidiary of ours, may act as an underwriter in securities offerings. We may incur losses and be subject to reputational harm to the extent that, for any reason, we are unable to sell securities or indebtedness we purchased as an underwriter at the anticipated price levels. As an underwriter, we also are subject to potential liability for material misstatements or omissions in prospectuses and other offering documents relating to offerings we underwrite.
AGS primarily provides these services for our funds’ portfolio companies. The relationship between the managers of our funds, their affiliates and AGS may give rise to conflicts of interest between the managers of the funds and the funds with respect to whom AGS provides services or the funds who have an interest in any portfolio companies or investment vehicles to whom AGS provides services.
While AGS’s services are primarily provided to our funds, it is possible that in the future, AGS may also provide services (including financing, capital market and advisory services) to third parties, including third parties that are our competitors or one or more of their affiliates or any portfolio companies. In the event that AGS provides services to third parties, it may not take into consideration the interests of relevant funds or portfolio companies.
The due diligence process that we undertake in connection with investments by our funds may not reveal all facts that may be relevant in connection with an investment.
Before making investments in private equity and other fund investments, including real estate investments, we conduct due diligence that we deem reasonable and appropriate based on the facts and circumstances applicable to each investment. When conducting due diligence, we may be required to evaluate important and complex business, financial, tax, accounting, environmental and legal issues. Outside consultants, legal advisors, accountants and investment banks may be involved in the due diligence process in varying degrees depending on the type of investment. Nevertheless, when conducting due diligence and making an
assessment regarding an investment, we rely on the resources available to us, including information provided by the target of the investment and, in some circumstances, third-party investigations. The due diligence investigation that we will carry out with respect to any investment opportunity may not reveal or highlight all relevant facts that may be necessary or helpful in evaluating such investment opportunity. Moreover, such an investigation will not necessarily result in the investment being successful.
Certain of our funds utilize special situation and distressed debt investment strategies that involve significant risks.
Our funds often invest in obligors and issuers with weak financial conditions, poor operating results, substantial financial needs, negative net worth and/or special competitive problems. These funds also invest in obligors and issuers that are involved in bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings. In such situations, it may be difficult to obtain full information as to the exact financial and operating conditions of these obligors and issuers. Additionally, the fair values of such investments are subject to abrupt and erratic market movements and significant price volatility if they are publicly traded securities, and are subject to significant uncertainty in general if they are not publicly traded securities. Furthermore, some of our funds’ distressed investments may not be widely traded or may have no recognized market. A fund’s exposure to such investments may be substantial in relation to the market for those investments, and the assets are likely to be illiquid and difficult to sell or transfer. As a result, it may take a number of years for the market value of such investments to ultimately reflect their intrinsic value as perceived by us.
A central feature of our distressed investment strategy is our ability to successfully predict the occurrence of certain corporate events, such as debt and/or equity offerings, restructurings, reorganizations, mergers, takeover offers and other transactions, that we believe will improve the condition of the business. If the corporate event we predict is delayed, changed or never completed, the market price and value of the applicable fund’s investment could decline sharply.
In addition, these investments could subject us to certain potential additional liabilities that may exceed the value of our original investment. Under certain circumstances, payments or distributions on certain investments may be reclaimed if any such payment or distribution is later determined to have been a fraudulent conveyance, a preferential payment or similar transaction under applicable bankruptcy and insolvency laws. In addition, under certain circumstances, a lender that has inappropriately exercised control of the management and policies of a debtor may have its claims subordinated or disallowed, or may be found liable for damages suffered by parties as a result of such actions. In the case where the investment in securities of troubled companies is made in connection with an attempt to influence a restructuring proposal or plan of reorganization in bankruptcy, our funds may become involved in substantial litigation.
We often pursue investment opportunities that involve business, regulatory, legal or other complexities.
As an element of our investment style, we often pursue unusually complex investment opportunities. This can often take the form of substantial business, regulatory or legal complexity that would deter other investment managers. Our tolerance for complexity presents risks, as such transactions can be more difficult, expensive and time-consuming to finance and execute; it can be more difficult to manage or realize value from the assets acquired in such transactions; and such transactions sometimes entail a higher level of regulatory scrutiny or a greater risk of contingent liabilities. Any of these risks could harm the performance of our funds.
Our funds make investments in companies that we do not control.
Investments by some of our funds will include debt instruments and equity securities of companies that we do not control. Such instruments and securities may be acquired by our funds through trading activities or through purchases of securities from the issuer. In addition, in the future, our funds may seek to acquire minority equity interests more frequently and may also dispose of a portion of their majority equity investments in portfolio companies over time in a manner that results in the funds retaining a minority investment. Those investments will be subject to the risk that the company in which the investment is made may make business, financial or management decisions with which we do not agree or that the majority stakeholders or the management of the company may take risks or otherwise act in a manner that does not serve our interests. If any of the foregoing were to occur, the values of investments by our funds could decrease and our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow could suffer as a result.
Our funds may face risks relating to undiversified investments.
While diversification is generally an objective of our funds, we cannot give assurance as to the degree of diversification that will actually be achieved in any fund investments. Because a significant portion of a fund’s capital may be invested in a single investment or portfolio company, a loss with respect to such an investment or portfolio company could have a significant adverse impact on such fund’s capital. Accordingly, a lack of diversification on the part of a fund could adversely affect a fund’s performance and therefore our financial condition and results of operations.
Some of our funds invest in foreign countries and securities of issuers located outside of the United States, which may involve foreign exchange, political, social, economic and tax uncertainties and risks.
Some of our funds invest all or a portion of their assets in the equity, debt, loans or other securities of issuers located outside the United States, including Germany, China, India, Australia, Russia, and Singapore. In addition to business uncertainties, such investments may be affected by changes in exchange values as well as political, social and economic uncertainty affecting a country or region. Many financial markets are not as developed or as efficient as those in the United States, and as a result, liquidity may be reduced and price volatility may be higher. The legal and regulatory environment may also be different, particularly with respect to bankruptcy and reorganization. Financial accounting standards and practices may differ, and there may be less publicly available information in respect of such companies.
Restrictions imposed or actions taken by foreign governments may adversely impact the value of our fund investments. Such restrictions or actions could include exchange controls, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits or other assets and adoption of other governmental restrictions that adversely affect the prices of securities or the ability to repatriate profits on investments or the capital invested itself. Income received by our funds from sources in some countries may be reduced by withholding and other taxes. Any such taxes paid by a fund will reduce the net income or return from such investments. Our fund investments could also expose us to risks associated with trade and economic sanctions prohibitions or other restrictions imposed by the United States or other governments or organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union and its member countries, such as the sanctions against certain Russian entities and individuals. While our funds will take these factors into consideration in making investment decisions, including when hedging positions, our funds may not be able to fully avoid these risks or generate sufficient risk-adjusted returns.
In addition, as a result of the complexity of, and lack of clear precedent or authority with respect to, the application of various income tax laws to our structures, the application of rules governing how transactions and structures should be reported is also subject to differing interpretations. For example, certain countries such as Australia, Canada, China, and India, where our funds have made investments, have sought to tax investment gains (including those from real estate) derived by nonresident investors, including private equity funds, from the disposition of the equity in companies operating in those countries. In some cases this development is the result of new legislation or changes in the interpretation of existing legislation and local authority assertions that investors have a local taxable presence or are holding companies for trading purposes rather than for capital purposes, or are not otherwise entitled to treaty benefits. In addition, the tax authorities in certain countries have sought to deny the benefits of income tax treaties for withholding taxes on interest and dividends of nonresident entities, if the entity is not the beneficial owner of the income but rather a mere conduit company inserted primarily to assess treaty benefits. With respect to India, in 2012 the Supreme Court of India held in favor of a taxpayer finding that the sale of a foreign company that indirectly held Indian assets was not subject to Indian tax. However, the tax laws were amended in 2012 to subject such gains to Indian tax with retroactive effect. Further, a general anti-avoidance rule was also introduced that would provide a basis for the tax authorities to subject other sales and investments through intermediate holding jurisdictions such as Mauritius to Indian tax. While such rule is effective for tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2015, concerns have been raised with respect to these new rules including their retroactive effect in certain circumstances. Indian taxation of the capital gains of a foreign investor, upon a direct or indirect sale of an Indian company, therefore remains uncertain.
Third-party investors in our funds will have the right under certain circumstances to terminate commitment periods or to dissolve the funds, and investors in some of our credit funds may redeem their investments in such funds at any time after an initial holding period. These events would lead to a decrease in our revenues, which could be substantial.
The governing agreements of certain of our funds allow the limited partners of those funds to (i) terminate the commitment period of the fund in the event that certain “key persons” (for example, one or more of our Managing Partners and/or certain other investment professionals) fail to devote the requisite time to managing the fund, (ii) (depending on the fund) terminate the commitment period, dissolve the fund or remove the general partner if we, as general partner or manager, or certain key persons engage in certain forms of misconduct, or (iii) dissolve the fund or terminate the commitment period upon the affirmative vote of a specified percentage of limited partner interests entitled to vote. Each of Fund VI, Fund VII and Fund VIII, on which our near- to medium-term performance will heavily depend, include a number of such provisions. COF III, EPF II and certain other credit funds have similar provisions. Also, after undergoing the 2007 Reorganization, subsequent to which we deconsolidated certain funds that had historically been consolidated in our financial statements, we amended the governing documents of those funds to provide that a simple majority of a fund’s unaffiliated investors have the right to liquidate that fund. In addition to having a significant negative impact on our revenue, net income and cash flow, the occurrence of such an event with respect to any of our funds would likely result in significant reputational damage to us.
Investors in some of our credit funds may also generally redeem their investments on an annual, semiannual or quarterly basis following the expiration of a specified period of time when capital may not be redeemed (typically between one and five
years). Fund investors may decide to move their capital away from us to other investments for any number of reasons in addition to poor investment performance. Factors which could result in investors leaving our funds include changes in interest rates that make other investments more attractive, changes in investor perception regarding our focus or alignment of interest, unhappiness with changes in or broadening of a fund’s investment strategy, changes in our reputation and departures or changes in responsibilities of key investment professionals. In a declining market, the pace of redemptions and consequent reduction in our AUM could accelerate. The decrease in revenues that would result from significant redemptions in these funds could have a material adverse effect on our businesses, revenues, net income and cash flows.
In addition, the management agreements of all of our funds would be terminated upon an “assignment,” without the requisite consent, of these agreements, which may be deemed to occur in the event the investment advisors of our funds were to experience a change of control. We cannot be certain that consents required to assign our investment management agreements will be obtained if a change of control occurs. In addition, with respect to our publicly traded closed-end funds, each fund’s investment management agreement must be approved annually by the independent members of such fund’s board of directors and, in certain cases, by its stockholders, as required by law. Termination of these agreements would cause us to lose the fees we earn from such funds.
Our financial projections for portfolio companies and other fund investments could prove inaccurate.
Our funds generally establish the capital structure of portfolio companies and certain other fund investments, including real estate investments, on the basis of financial projections for such investments. These projected operating results will normally be based primarily on management judgments. In all cases, projections are only estimates of future results that are based upon assumptions made at the time that the projections are developed. General economic conditions, which are not predictable, along with other factors may cause actual performance to fall short of the financial projections we used to establish a given investment's capital structure. Because of the leverage we typically employ in our investments, this could cause a substantial decrease in the value of our equity holdings in such investments. The inaccuracy of financial projections could thus cause our funds’ performance to fall short of our expectations.
Our private equity funds’ performance, and our performance, may be adversely affected by the financial performance of our portfolio companies and the industries in which our funds invest.
Our performance and the performance of our private equity funds is significantly affected by the value of the companies in which our funds have invested. Our funds invest in companies in many different industries, each of which is subject to volatility based upon economic and market factors. Over the last few years, the credit crisis has caused significant fluctuations in the value of securities held by our funds and the global economic recession had a significant impact in overall performance activity and the demands for many of the goods and services provided by portfolio companies of the funds we manage. Although the U.S. economy has improved, there remain many obstacles to continued growth in the economy such as high unemployment, global geopolitical events, risks of inflation and high deficit levels for governmental agencies in the U.S. and abroad. These factors and other general economic trends are likely to impact the performance of portfolio companies in many industries and in particular, industries that are more impacted by changes in consumer demand, such as the packaging, manufacturing, chemical and refining industries, as well as travel and leisure, gaming and real estate industries. The performance of our private equity funds, and our performance, may be adversely affected to the extent our fund portfolio companies in these industries experience adverse performance or additional pressure due to downward trends. For example, the performance of certain of our portfolio companies in the packaging, manufacturing, chemical and refining industries is subject to the cyclical and volatile nature of the supply-demand balance in these industries. These industries historically have experienced alternating periods of capacity shortages leading to tight supply conditions, causing prices and profit margins to increase, followed by periods when substantial capacity is added, resulting in oversupply, declining capacity utilization rates and declining prices and profit margins. In addition to changes in the supply and demand for products, the volatility these industries experience occurs as a result of changes in energy prices, costs of raw materials and changes in various other economic conditions around the world.
The performance of our investments in the commodities markets is also subject to a high degree of business and market risk, as it is substantially dependent upon prevailing prices of oil and natural gas. Certain of our funds have investments in businesses involved in oil and gas exploration and development, which can be a speculative business involving a high degree of risk, including: the volatility of oil and natural gas prices; the use of new technologies; reliance on estimates of oil and gas reserves in the evaluation of available geological, geophysical, engineering and economic data; and encountering unexpected formations or pressures, premature declines of reservoirs, blow-outs, equipment failures and other accidents in completing wells and otherwise, cratering, sour gas releases, uncontrollable flows of oil, natural gas or well fluids, adverse weather conditions, pollution, fires, spills and other environmental risks. Prices for oil and natural gas are subject to wide fluctuation in response to relatively minor changes in the supply and demand for oil and natural gas, market uncertainty and a variety of additional factors that are beyond our control, such as level of consumer product demand, the refining capacity of oil purchasers, weather conditions, government regulations,
the price and availability of alternative fuels, political conditions, foreign supply of such commodities and overall economic conditions. It is common in making investments in the commodities markets to deploy hedging strategies to protect against pricing fluctuations but such strategies may or may not protect our investments.
Similarly, the performance of cruise ship operations is also susceptible to adverse changes in the economic climate, such as higher fuel prices, as increases in the cost of fuel globally would increase the cost of cruise ship operations. Economic and political conditions in certain parts of the world make it difficult to predict the price of fuel in the future. In addition, cruise ship operators could experience increases in other operating costs, such as crew, insurance and security costs, due to market forces and economic or political instability beyond their control.
In respect of real estate, even though the U.S. residential real estate market has recently shown some signs of stabilizing from a lengthy and deep downturn, various factors could halt or limit a recovery in the housing market and have an adverse effect on the performance of certain of our funds’ investments, including, but not limited to, continued high unemployment, a low level of consumer confidence in the economy and/or the residential real estate market and rising mortgage interest rates.
In addition, our funds’ investments in commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real-estate related loans are subject to risks of delinquency and foreclosure, and risks of loss that are greater than similar risks associated with mortgage loans made on the security of residential properties. If the net operating income of the commercial property is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. Net operating income of a commercial property can be affected by various factors, such as success of tenant businesses, property management decisions, competition from comparable types of properties and declines in regional or local real estate values and rental or occupancy rates.
Our credit funds are subject to numerous additional risks.
Our credit funds are subject to numerous additional risks, including the risks set forth below.
Generally, there are few limitations on the execution of these funds’ investment strategies, which are subject to the sole discretion of the management company or the general partner of such funds.
These funds may engage in short-selling, which is subject to a theoretically unlimited risk of loss.
These funds are exposed to the risk that a counterparty will not settle a transaction in accordance with its terms and conditions because of a dispute over the terms of the contract (whether or not bona fide) or because of a credit or liquidity problem, thus causing the fund to suffer a loss.
Credit risk may arise through a default by one of several large institutions that are dependent on one another to meet their liquidity or operational needs, so that a default by one institution causes a series of defaults by the other institutions.
The efficacy of investment and trading strategies depend largely on the ability to establish and maintain an overall market position in a combination of financial instruments, which can be difficult to execute.
These funds may make investments or hold trading positions in markets that are volatile and which may become illiquid.
These funds’ investments are subject to risks relating to investments in commodities, futures, options and other derivatives, the prices of which are highly volatile and may be subject to a theoretically unlimited risk of loss in certain circumstances.
Fraud and other deceptive practices could harm fund performance.
Instances of bribery, fraud and other deceptive practices committed by senior management of portfolio companies in which an Apollo fund invests may undermine our due diligence efforts with respect to such companies, and if such fraud is discovered, negatively affect the valuation of a fund’s investments. Fraud or other deceptive practices by our own employees or advisors could have a similar effect. In addition, when discovered, financial fraud may contribute to overall market volatility that can negatively impact an Apollo fund’s investment program. As a result, instances of bribery, fraud and other deceptive practices could result in fund performance that is poorer than expected.
Contingent liabilities could harm fund performance.
We may cause our funds to acquire an investment that is subject to contingent liabilities. Such contingent liabilities could be unknown to us at the time of acquisition or, if they are known to us, we may not accurately assess or protect against the risks that they present. Acquired contingent liabilities could thus result in unforeseen losses for our funds. In addition, in connection with the disposition of an investment in a portfolio company, a fund may be required to make representations about
the business and financial affairs of such portfolio company typical of those made in connection with the sale of a business. A fund may also be required to indemnify the purchasers of such investment to the extent that any such representations are inaccurate. These arrangements may result in the incurrence of contingent liabilities by a fund, even after the disposition of an investment. Accordingly, the inaccuracy of representations and warranties made by a fund could harm such fund’s performance.
Our funds may be forced to dispose of investments at a disadvantageous time.
Our funds may make investments that they do not advantageously dispose of prior to the date the applicable fund is dissolved, either by expiration of such fund’s term or otherwise. Although we generally expect that investments will be disposed of prior to dissolution or be suitable for in-kind distribution at dissolution, and the general partners of the funds have a limited ability to extend the term of the fund with the consent of fund investors or the advisory board of the fund, as applicable, our funds may have to sell, distribute or otherwise dispose of investments at a disadvantageous time as a result of dissolution. This would result in a lower than expected return on the investments and, perhaps, on the fund itself.
Possession of material, non-public information could prevent Apollo funds from undertaking advantageous transactions; our internal controls could fail; we could determine to establish information barriers.
Our Managing Partners, investment professionals or other employees may acquire confidential or material non-public information and, as a result, be restricted from initiating transactions in certain securities. This risk affects us more than it does many other investment managers, as we generally do not use information barriers that many firms implement to separate persons who make investment decisions from others who might possess material, non-public information that could influence such decisions. Our decision not to implement these barriers could prevent our investment professionals from undertaking advantageous investments or dispositions that would be permissible for them otherwise.
In order to manage possible risks resulting from our decision not to implement information barriers, our compliance personnel maintain a list of restricted securities as to which we have access to material, non-public information and in which our funds and investment professionals are not permitted to trade. This internal control relating to the management of material non-public information could fail with the result that we, or one of our investment professionals, might trade when at least constructively in possession of material non-public information. Inadvertent trading on material non-public information could have adverse effects on our reputation, result in the imposition of regulatory or financial sanctions and as a consequence, negatively impact our financial condition. In addition, we could in the future decide that it is advisable to establish information barriers, particularly as our business expands and diversifies. In such event, our ability to operate as an integrated platform would be restricted. The establishment of such information barriers might also lead to operational disruptions and result in restructuring costs, including costs related to hiring additional personnel as existing investment professionals are allocated to either side of such barriers, which could adversely affect our business.
Regulations governing AINV’s operation as a business development company affect its ability to raise, and the way in which it raises, additional capital.
As a business development company under the Investment Company Act, AINV may issue debt securities or preferred stock and borrow money from banks or other financial institutions, which we refer to collectively as “senior securities,” up to the maximum amount permitted by the Investment Company Act. Under the provisions of the Investment Company Act, AINV is permitted to issue senior securities only in amounts such that its asset coverage, as defined in the Investment Company Act, equals at least 200% after each issuance of senior securities. If the value of its assets declines, it may be unable to satisfy this test. If that happens, it may be required to sell a portion of its investments and, depending on the nature of its leverage, repay a portion of its indebtedness at a time when such sales may be disadvantageous.
Business development companies may issue and sell common stock at a price below net asset value per share only in limited circumstances, one of which is during the one-year period after stockholder approval. AINV’s stockholders have, in the past, approved a plan so that during the subsequent 12-month period, AINV may, in one or more public or private offerings of its common stock, sell or otherwise issue shares of its common stock at a price below the then current net asset value per share, subject to certain conditions including parameters on the level of permissible dilution, approval of the sale by a majority of its independent directors and a requirement that the sale price be not less than approximately the market price of the shares of its common stock at specified times, less the expenses of the sale. AINV may ask its stockholders for additional approvals from year to year. There is no assurance such approvals will be obtained.
Regulations governing AFT's and AIF’s operation affect their ability to raise, and the way in which they raise, additional capital.
As registered investment companies under the Investment Company Act, each of AFT and AIF may issue debt securities or preferred stock and borrow money from banks or other financial institutions, up to the maximum amount permitted by the Investment Company Act. Under the provisions of the Investment Company Act, each of AFT and AIF is permitted to (i) issue preferred shares in amounts such that their respective asset coverage equals at least 200% after issuance and (ii) to incur indebtedness, including through the issuance of debt securities, so long as immediately thereafter the fund will have an asset coverage of at least 300% after issuance. If the value of its assets declines, such fund may be unable to satisfy this test. If that happens, such fund may be required to sell a portion of its investments and, depending on the nature of its leverage, repay a portion of its indebtedness at a time when such sales may be disadvantageous. Further, each of AFT and AIF may raise capital by issuing common shares, however, the offering price per common share must equal or exceed the net asset value per share, exclusive of any underwriting commissions or discounts, of our shares.
Risks Related to Our Class A Shares
The market price and trading volume of our Class A shares may be volatile, which could result in rapid and substantial losses for our shareholders.
The market price of our Class A shares may be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our Class A shares may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. If the market price of our Class A shares declines significantly, you may be unable to resell your Class A shares at or above your purchase price, if at all. The market price of our Class A shares may fluctuate or decline significantly in the future. Some of the factors that could negatively affect the price of our Class A shares or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our Class A shares include:
variations in our quarterly operating results or distributions, which variations we expect will be substantial;
our policy of taking a long-term perspective on making investment, operational and strategic decisions, which is expected to result in significant and unpredictable variations in our quarterly returns;
failure to meet analysts’ earnings estimates;
publication of research reports about us or the investment management industry or the failure of securities analysts to cover our Class A shares;
additions or departures of our Managing Partners and other key management personnel;
adverse market reaction to any indebtedness we may incur or securities we may issue in the future;
actions by shareholders;
changes in market valuations of similar companies;
speculation in the press or investment community;
changes or proposed changes in laws or regulations or differing interpretations thereof affecting our businesses or enforcement of these laws and regulations, or announcements relating to these matters;
a lack of liquidity in the trading of our Class A shares;
adverse publicity about the asset management industry generally or individual scandals, specifically; and
general market and economic conditions.
In addition, from time to time, management may also declare special quarterly distributions based on investment realizations. Volatility in the market price of our Class A shares may be heightened at or around times of investment realizations as well as following such realization, as a result of speculation as to whether such a distribution may be declared.
An investment in Class A shares is not an investment in any of our funds, and the assets and revenues of our funds are not directly available to us.
Class A shares are securities of Apollo Global Management, LLC only. While our historical consolidated and combined financial information includes financial information, including assets and revenues of certain Apollo funds on a consolidated basis, and our future financial information will continue to consolidate certain of these funds, such assets and revenues are available to the fund and not to us except through management fees, incentive income, distributions and other proceeds arising from agreements with funds, as discussed in more detail in this report.
Our Class A share price may decline due to the large number of shares eligible for future sale and for exchange into Class A shares.
The market price of our Class A shares could decline as a result of sales of a large number of our Class A shares or the perception that such sales could occur. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and price that we deem appropriate. As of December 31, 2014, we had
163,046,554 Class A shares outstanding. The Class A shares reserved under our equity incentive plan are increased on the first day of each fiscal year by (i) the amount (if any) by which (a) 15% of the number of outstanding Class A shares and Apollo Operating Group units (“AOG Units”) exchangeable for Class A shares on a fully converted and diluted basis on the last day of the immediately preceding fiscal year exceeds (b) the number of shares then reserved and available for issuance under the Equity Plan, or (ii) such lesser amount by which the administrator may decide to increase the number of Class A shares. Taking into account grants of restricted share units (“RSUs”) and options made through December 31, 2014, 38,090,824 Class A shares remained available for future grant under our equity incentive plan. In addition, Holdings may at any time exchange its AOG Units for up to 222,680,477 Class A shares on behalf of our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners subject to the Amended and Restated Exchange Agreement. See "Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Exchange Agreement." We may also elect to sell additional Class A shares in one or more future primary offerings.
Our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners, through their partnership interests in Holdings, owned an aggregate of 57.7% of the AOG Units as of December 31, 2014. Subject to certain procedures and restrictions (including any transfer restrictions and lock-up agreements applicable to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners), each Managing Partner and Contributing Partner has the right, upon 60 days’ notice prior to a designated quarterly date, to exchange the AOG Units for Class A shares. These Class A shares are eligible for resale from time to time, subject to certain contractual restrictions and Securities Act limitations.
Our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners (through Holdings) have the ability to cause us to register the Class A shares they acquire upon exchange of their AOG Units, as was done in connection with the Company's Secondary Offering in May 2013. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Managing Partner Shareholders Agreement— Registration Rights.”
The Strategic Investors have the ability to cause us to register any of their non-voting Class A shares, as was done in connection with the Company's Secondary Offering in May 2013. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Lenders Rights Agreement.”
We have on file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-8 covering the shares issuable under our equity incentive plan. Subject to vesting and contractual lock-up arrangements, such shares will be freely tradable.
We cannot assure you that our intended quarterly distributions will be paid each quarter or at all.
Our intention is to distribute to our Class A shareholders on a quarterly basis substantially all of our net after-tax cash flow from operations in excess of amounts determined by our manager to be necessary or appropriate to provide for the conduct of our businesses, to make appropriate investments in our businesses and our funds, to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to service our indebtedness or to provide for future distributions to our Class A shareholders for any ensuing quarter. The declaration, payment and determination of the amount of our quarterly dividend, if any, will be at the sole discretion of our manager, who may change our dividend policy at any time. We cannot assure you that any distributions, whether quarterly or otherwise, will or can be paid. In making decisions regarding our quarterly dividend, our manager considers general economic and business conditions, our strategic plans and prospects, our businesses and investment opportunities, our financial condition and operating results, working capital requirements and anticipated cash needs, contractual restrictions and obligations, legal, tax, regulatory and other restrictions that may have implications on the payment of distributions by us to our common shareholders or by our subsidiaries to us, and such other factors as our manager may deem relevant.
Our Managing Partners’ beneficial ownership of interests in the Class B share that we have issued to BRH Holdings GP, Ltd. (“BRH”), the control exercised by our manager and anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change in control.
Our Managing Partners, through their ownership of BRH, beneficially own the Class B share that we have issued to BRH. The Managing Partners interests in such Class B share represented 65.4% of the total combined voting power of our shares entitled to vote as of December 31, 2014. As a result, they are able to exercise control over all matters requiring the approval of shareholders and are able to prevent a change in control of our company. In addition, our operating agreement provides that so long as the Apollo control condition (as described in “Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance—Our Manager”) is satisfied, our manager, which is owned and controlled by our Managing Partners, manages all of our operations and activities. The control of our manager will make it more difficult for a potential acquirer to assume control of our Company. Other provisions in our operating agreement may also make it more difficult and expensive for a third party to acquire control of us even if a change of control would be beneficial to the interests of our shareholders. For example, our operating agreement requires advance notice for proposals by shareholders and nominations, places limitations on convening shareholder meetings, and authorizes the issuance of preferred shares that could be issued by our board of directors to thwart a takeover attempt. In addition, certain provisions of
Delaware law may delay or prevent a transaction that could cause a change in our control. The market price of our Class A shares could be adversely affected to the extent that our Managing Partners’ control over our Company, the control exercised by our manager as well as provisions of our operating agreement discourage potential takeover attempts that our shareholders may favor.
We are a Delaware limited liability company, and there are certain provisions in our operating agreement regarding exculpation and indemnification of our officers and directors that differ from the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) in a manner that may be less protective of the interests of our Class A shareholders.
Our operating agreement provides that to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law our directors or officers will not be liable to us. However, under the DGCL, a director or officer would be liable to us for (i) breach of duty of loyalty to us or our shareholders, (ii) intentional misconduct or knowing violations of the law that are not done in good faith, (iii) improper redemption of shares or declaration of dividend, or (iv) a transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit. In addition, our operating agreement provides that we indemnify our directors and officers for acts or omissions to the fullest extent provided by law. However, under the DGCL, a corporation can indemnify directors and officers for acts or omissions only if the director or officer acted in good faith, in a manner he reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the corporation, and, in criminal action, if the officer or director had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. Accordingly, our operating agreement may be less protective of the interests of our Class A shareholders, when compared to the DGCL, insofar as it relates to the exculpation and indemnification of our officers and directors.
Awards of our Class A shares may increase shareholder dilution and reduce profitability.
We grant Class A restricted share units to our investment professionals, both when hired and as a portion of the discretionary annual compensation they may receive. In 2014 we also began to require that a portion of the incentive income distributions payable by the general partners of certain of the funds we manage be used by the recipients of those distributions to purchase restricted Class A shares issued under our equity incentive plan. While this practice promotes alignment with shareholders and encourages investment professionals to maximize the success of the Company as a whole, these equity awards, if fulfilled by issuances of new shares by us rather than by open market purchases (which do not cause any dilution), personnel-related shareholder dilution may increase. In addition, volatility in the price of our Class A shares could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain our investment professionals. To recruit and retain existing and future investment professionals, we may need to increase the level of compensation that we pay to them, which may cause a higher percentage of our revenue to be paid out in the form of compensation, which would have an adverse impact on our profit margins.
Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure
Although not enacted, the U.S. Congress has considered legislation that would have: (i) in some cases after a ten-year transition period, precluded us from qualifying as a partnership or required us to hold carried interest through taxable corporations; and (ii) taxed certain income and gains at increased rates. If similar legislation were to be enacted and apply to us, the value of our Class A shares could be adversely affected.
The U.S. Congress, the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department have over the past several years examined the U.S. Federal income tax treatment of private equity funds, hedge funds and other kinds of investment partnerships. The present U.S. Federal income tax treatment of a holder of Class A shares and/or our own taxation may be adversely affected by any new legislation, new regulations or revised interpretations of existing tax law that arise as a result of such examinations. In May 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation (the “May 2010 House Bill”) that would have, in general, treated income and gains, including gain on sale, attributable to an interest in an investment services partnership interest (“ISPI”) as income subject to a new blended tax rate that is higher than under current law, except to the extent such ISPI would have been considered under the legislation to be a qualified capital interest. The interests of Class A shareholders and our interests in the Apollo Operating Group that are entitled to receive carried interest may be classified as ISPIs for purposes of this legislation. The United States Senate considered, but did not pass, similar legislation. On February 14, 2012, Representative Levin introduced similar legislation (the “2012 Levin Bill”) that would tax carried interest at ordinary income rates (which would be higher than the proposed blended rate in the May 2010 House Bill). It is unclear whether or when the U.S. Congress will pass such legislation or what provisions would be included in any legislation, if enacted.
Both the May 2010 House Bill and the 2012 Levin Bill provide that, for taxable years beginning ten years after the date of enactment, income derived with respect to an ISPI that is not a qualified capital interest and that is treated as ordinary income under the rules discussed above would not meet the qualifying income requirements under the publicly traded partnership rules. Therefore, if similar legislation were to be enacted, following such ten-year period, we would be precluded from qualifying as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes or be required to hold all such ISPIs through corporations, possibly U.S.
corporations. If we were taxed as a U.S. corporation or required to hold all ISPIs through corporations, our effective tax rate would increase significantly. The federal statutory rate for corporations is currently 35%. In addition, we could be subject to increased state and local taxes. Furthermore, holders of Class A shares could be subject to tax on our conversion into a corporation or any restructuring required in order for us to hold our ISPIs through a corporation.
On September 12, 2011, the Obama administration submitted similar legislation to Congress in the American Jobs Act that would tax income and gain, now treated as capital gains, including gain on disposition of interests attributable to an ISPI, at rates higher than the capital gains rate applicable to such income under current law, with an exception for certain qualified capital interests. The proposed legislation would also characterize certain income and gain in respect of ISPIs as non-qualifying income under the publicly traded partnership rules after a ten-year transition period from the effective date, with an exception for certain qualified capital interests. This proposed legislation follows several prior statements by the Obama administration in support of changing the taxation of carried interest. In its published revenue proposal for 2015, the Obama administration proposed that the current law regarding treatment of carried interest be changed to subject such income to ordinary income tax. The Obama administration's published revenue proposals for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 contained similar proposals.
States and other jurisdictions have also considered legislation to increase taxes with respect to carried interest. For example, New York has periodically considered legislation under which non-residents of New York could be subject to New York state income tax on income in respect of our Class A shares as a result of certain activities of our affiliates in New York, although it is unclear when or whether such legislation would be enacted.
On February 22, 2012, the Obama administration announced its framework of key elements to change the U.S. Federal income tax rules for businesses. Few specifics were included, and it is unclear what any actual legislation could provide, when it would be proposed, or its prospects for enactment. Several parts of the framework, if enacted, could adversely affect us. First, the framework could reduce the deductibility of interest for corporations in some manner not specified. A reduction in interest deductions could increase our tax rate and thereby reduce cash available for distribution to investors or for other uses by us. Such a reduction could also limit our ability to finance new transactions and increase the effective cost of financing by companies in which we invest, which could reduce the value of our carried interest in respect of such companies. The framework also suggests that some entities currently treated as partnerships for tax purposes could be subject to an entity-level income tax similar to the corporate income tax. If such a proposal caused us to be subject to additional entity-level taxes, it could reduce cash available for distribution to investors or for other uses by us. The framework reiterates President Obama's support for treatment of carried interest as ordinary income, as provided for again in the President's revenue proposal for 2015, but the ultimate consequences of tax reform legislation, if any, are presently not known.
Our shareholders do not elect our manager or vote and have limited ability to influence decisions regarding our businesses.
So long as the Apollo control condition is satisfied, our manager, AGM Management, LLC, which is owned and controlled by our Managing Partners, will manage all of our operations and activities. AGM Management, LLC is managed by BRH, a Cayman entity owned by our Managing Partners and managed by an executive committee composed of our Managing Partners. Our shareholders do not elect our manager, its manager or its manager’s executive committee and, unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our businesses and therefore limited ability to influence decisions regarding our businesses. Furthermore, if our shareholders are dissatisfied with the performance of our manager, they will have little ability to remove our manager. As discussed below, the Managing Partners collectively had 65.4% of the voting power of Apollo Global Management, LLC as of December 31, 2014. Therefore, they have the ability to control any shareholder vote that occurs, including any vote regarding the removal of our manager.
Our board of directors has no authority over our operations other than that which our manager has chosen to delegate to it.
For so long as the Apollo control condition is satisfied, our manager, which is owned and controlled by our Managing Partners, manages all of our operations and activities, and our board of directors has no authority other than that which our manager chooses to delegate to it. In the event that the Apollo control condition is not satisfied, our board of directors will manage all of our operations and activities.
For so long as the Apollo control condition is satisfied, our manager (i) nominates and elects all directors to our board of directors, (ii) sets the number of directors of our board of directors and (iii) fills any vacancies on our board of directors. After the Apollo control condition is no longer satisfied, each of our directors will be elected by the vote of a plurality of our shares entitled to vote, voting as a single class, to serve until his or her successor is duly elected or appointed and qualified or until his or her earlier death, retirement, disqualification, resignation or removal.
Control by our Managing Partners of the combined voting power of our shares and holding their economic interests through the Apollo Operating Group may give rise to conflicts of interests.
Our Managing Partners controlled 65.4% of the combined voting power of our shares entitled to vote as of December 31, 2014. Accordingly, our Managing Partners have the ability to control our management and affairs to the extent not controlled by our manager. In addition, they are able to determine the outcome of all matters requiring shareholder approval (such as a proposed sale of all or substantially of our assets, the approval of a merger or consolidation involving the company, and an election by our manager to dissolve the company) and are able to cause or prevent a change of control of our company and could preclude any unsolicited acquisition of our company. The control of voting power by our Managing Partners could deprive Class A shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their Class A shares as part of a sale of our company, and might ultimately affect the market price of the Class A shares.
In addition, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners, through their partnership interests in Holdings, are entitled to 57.7% of Apollo Operating Group’s economic returns through the AOG Units owned by Holdings as of December 31, 2014. Because they hold their economic interest in our businesses directly through the Apollo Operating Group, rather than through the issuer of the Class A shares, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners may have conflicting interests with holders of Class A shares. For example, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners may have different tax positions from us, which could influence their decisions regarding whether and when to dispose of assets, and whether and when to incur new or refinance existing indebtedness, especially in light of the existence of the tax receivable agreement. For a description of the tax receivable agreement, see “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Tax Receivable Agreement.” In addition, the structuring of future transactions may take into consideration the Managing Partners’ and Contributing Partners’ tax considerations even where no similar benefit would accrue to us.
We qualify for, and rely on, exceptions from certain corporate governance and other requirements under the rules of the NYSE.
We qualify for exceptions from certain corporate governance and other requirements under the rules of the NYSE. Pursuant to these exceptions, we may elect not to comply with certain corporate governance requirements of the NYSE, including the requirements (i) that a majority of our board of directors consist of independent directors, (ii) that we have a nominating/corporate governance committee that is composed entirely of independent directors and (iii) that we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors. In addition, we are not required to hold annual meetings of our shareholders. Pursuant to the exceptions available to a controlled company under the rules of the NYSE, we have elected not to have a nominating and corporate governance committee comprised entirely of independent directors, nor a compensation committee comprised entirely of independent directors. Although we currently have a board of directors comprised of a majority of independent directors, we plan to continue to avail ourselves of these exceptions. Accordingly, you will not have the same protections afforded to equity holders of entities that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE.
Potential conflicts of interest may arise among our manager, on the one hand, and us and our shareholders on the other hand. Our manager and its affiliates have limited fiduciary duties to us and our shareholders, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of us and our shareholders.
Conflicts of interest may arise among our manager, on the one hand, and us and our shareholders, on the other hand. As a result of these conflicts, our manager may favor its own interests and the interests of its affiliates over the interests of us and our shareholders. These conflicts include, among others, the conflicts described below.
Our manager determines the amount and timing of our investments and dispositions, indebtedness, issuances of additional stock and amounts of reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is available for distribution to you.
Our manager is allowed to take into account the interests of parties other than us in resolving conflicts of interest, which has the effect of limiting its duties (including fiduciary duties) to our shareholders; for example, our affiliates that serve as general partners of our funds have fiduciary and contractual obligations to our fund investors, and such obligations may cause such affiliates to regularly take actions that might adversely affect our near-term results of operations or cash flow; our manager has no obligation to intervene in, or to notify our shareholders of, such actions by such affiliates.
Because our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners hold their AOG Units through entities that are not subject to corporate income taxation and Apollo Global Management, LLC holds the AOG Units in part through a wholly-owned subsidiary that is subject to corporate income taxation, conflicts may arise between our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners, on the one hand, and Apollo Global Management, LLC, on the other hand, relating to the selection, structuring, and disposition of investments. For example, the earlier taxable disposition of assets following an exchange transaction by a Managing Partner or Contributing
Partner may accelerate payments under the tax receivable agreement and increase the present value of such payments, and the taxable disposition of assets before an exchange or transaction by a Managing Partner or Contributing Partner may increase the tax liability of a Managing Partner or Contributing Partner without giving rise to any rights to such Managing Partner or Contributing Partner to receive payments under the tax receivable agreement.
Other than as set forth in the non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements to which our Managing Partners and other professionals are subject, which may not be enforceable, affiliates of our manager and existing and former personnel employed by our manager are not prohibited from engaging in other businesses or activities, including those that might be in direct competition with us.
Our manager has limited its liability and reduced or eliminated its duties (including fiduciary duties) under our operating agreement, while also restricting the remedies available to our shareholders for actions that, without these limitations, might constitute breaches of duty (including fiduciary duty). In addition, we have agreed to indemnify our manager and its affiliates to the fullest extent permitted by law, except with respect to conduct involving bad faith, fraud or willful misconduct. By purchasing our Class A shares, you will have agreed and consented to the provisions set forth in our operating agreement, including the provisions regarding conflicts of interest situations that, in the absence of such provisions, might constitute a breach of fiduciary or other duties under applicable state law.
Our operating agreement does not restrict our manager from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered, or from entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf, so long as the terms of any such additional contractual arrangements are fair and reasonable to us as determined under the operating agreement.
Our manager determines how much debt we incur and that decision may adversely affect our credit ratings.
Our manager determines which costs incurred by it and its affiliates are reimbursable by us.
Our manager controls the enforcement of obligations owed to us by it and its affiliates.
Our manager decides whether to retain separate counsel, accountants or others to perform services for us. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” for a more detailed discussion of these conflicts.
Our operating agreement contains provisions that reduce or eliminate duties (including fiduciary duties) of our manager and limit remedies available to shareholders for actions that might otherwise constitute a breach of duty. It would be difficult for a shareholder to challenge a resolution of a conflict of interest by our manager or by its conflicts committee.
Our operating agreement contains provisions that waive or consent to conduct by our manager and its affiliates that might otherwise raise issues about compliance with fiduciary duties or applicable law. For example, our operating agreement provides that when our manager is acting in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our manager, it may act without any fiduciary obligations to us or our shareholders whatsoever. When our manager, in its capacity as our manager, is permitted to or required to make a decision in its “sole discretion” or “discretion” or that it deems “necessary or appropriate” or “necessary or advisable,” then our manager will be entitled to consider only such interests and factors as it desires, including its own interests, and will have no duty or obligation (fiduciary or otherwise) to give any consideration to any interest of or factors affecting us or any of our shareholders and will not be subject to any different standards imposed by our operating agreement, the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act or under any other law, rule or regulation or in equity.
Whenever a potential conflict of interest exists between us and our manager, our manager may resolve such conflict of interest. If our manager determines that its resolution of the conflict of interest is on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or is fair and reasonable to us, taking into account the totality of the relationships between us and our manager, then it will be presumed that in making this determination, our manager acted in good faith. A shareholder seeking to challenge this resolution of the conflict of interest would bear the burden of overcoming such presumption. This is different from the situation with Delaware corporations, where a conflict resolution by an interested party would be presumed to be unfair and the interested party would have the burden of demonstrating that the resolution was fair.
The above modifications of fiduciary duties are expressly permitted by Delaware law. Hence, we and our shareholders would have recourse and be able to seek remedies against our manager only if our manager breaches its obligations pursuant to our operating agreement. Unless our manager breaches its obligations pursuant to our operating agreement, we and our unitholders would not have any recourse against our manager even if our manager were to act in a manner that was inconsistent with traditional fiduciary duties. Furthermore, even if there has been a breach of the obligations set forth in our operating agreement, our operating agreement provides that our manager and its officers and directors would not be liable to us or our shareholders for errors of judgment or for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction
determining that the manager or its officers and directors acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud or willful misconduct. These provisions are detrimental to the shareholders because they restrict the remedies available to them for actions that without those limitations might constitute breaches of duty, including fiduciary duties.
Also, if our manager obtains the approval of its conflicts committee, the resolution will be conclusively deemed to be fair and reasonable to us and not a breach by our manager of any duties it may owe to us or our shareholders. This is different from the situation with Delaware corporations, where a conflict resolution by a committee consisting solely of independent directors may, in certain circumstances, merely shift the burden of demonstrating unfairness to the plaintiff. If you purchase a Class A share, you will be treated as having consented to the provisions set forth in the operating agreement, including provisions regarding conflicts of interest situations that, in the absence of such provisions, might be considered a breach of fiduciary or other duties under applicable state law. As a result, shareholders will, as a practical matter, not be able to successfully challenge an informed decision by the conflicts committee.
The control of our manager may be transferred to a third party without shareholder consent.
Our manager may transfer its manager interest to a third party in a merger or consolidation or in a transfer of all or substantially all of its assets without the consent of our shareholders. Furthermore, at any time, the partners of our manager may sell or transfer all or part of their partnership interests in our manager without the approval of the shareholders, subject to certain restrictions as described elsewhere in this report. A new manager may not be willing or able to form new funds and could form funds that have investment objectives and governing terms that differ materially from those of our current funds. A new owner could also have a different investment philosophy, employ investment professionals who are less experienced, be unsuccessful in identifying investment opportunities or have a track record that is not as successful as Apollo’s track record. If any of the foregoing were to occur, we could experience difficulty in making new investments, and the value of our existing investments, our businesses, our results of operations and our financial condition could materially suffer.
Our ability to pay regular distributions may be limited by our holding company structure. We are dependent on distributions from the Apollo Operating Group to pay distributions, taxes and other expenses.
As a holding company, our ability to pay distributions will be subject to the ability of our subsidiaries to provide cash to us. We intend to make quarterly distributions to our Class A shareholders. Accordingly, we expect to cause the Apollo Operating Group to make distributions to its unitholders (Holdings, which is 100% owned, directly and indirectly, by our Managing Partners and our Contributing Partners, and the three intermediate holding companies, which are 100% owned by us), pro rata in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay such distributions to our Class A shareholders; however, such distributions may not be made. In addition, our manager can reduce or eliminate our dividend at any time, in its discretion. The Apollo Operating Group may make periodic distributions to its unitholders in amounts sufficient to cover hypothetical income tax obligations attributable to allocations of taxable income resulting from their ownership interest in the various limited partnerships making up the Apollo Operating Group, subject to compliance with any financial covenants or other obligations. By paying that cash distribution rather than investing that cash in our business, we might risk slowing the pace of our growth or not having a sufficient amount of cash to fund our operations, new investments or unanticipated capital expenditures, should the need arise.
There may be circumstances under which we are restricted from paying distributions under applicable law or regulation (for example, due to Delaware limited partnership or limited liability company act limitations on making distributions if liabilities of the entity after the distribution would exceed the value of the entity’s assets).
Tax consequences to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners may give rise to conflicts of interests.
As a result of unrealized built-in gain attributable to the value of our assets held by the Apollo Operating Group entities at the time of the Private Offering Transactions, upon the sale, refinancing or disposition of the assets owned by the Apollo Operating Group entities, our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners may incur different and greater tax liabilities as a result of the disproportionately greater allocations of items of taxable income and gain to the Managing Partners and Contributing Partners upon a realization event. As the Managing Partners and Contributing Partners will not receive a corresponding greater distribution of cash proceeds, they may, subject to applicable fiduciary or contractual duties, have different objectives regarding the appropriate pricing, timing and other material terms of any sale, refinancing, or disposition, or whether to sell such assets at all. Decisions made with respect to an acceleration or deferral of income or the sale or disposition of assets with unrealized built-in gains may also influence the timing and amount of payments that are received by an exchanging or selling founder or partner under the tax receivable agreement. All other factors being equal, earlier disposition of assets with unrealized built-in gains following such exchange will tend to accelerate such payments and increase the present value of the tax receivable agreement, and disposition of assets with unrealized built-in gains before an exchange will increase a Managing Partner’s or Contributing Partner’s tax liability without giving rise to any rights to receive payments under the tax receivable agreement. Decisions made
regarding a change of control also could have a material influence on the timing and amount of payments received by our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners pursuant to the tax receivable agreement.
We are required to pay our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners for most of the actual tax benefits we realize as a result of the tax basis step-up we receive in connection with our acquisitions of units from our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners.
Subject to certain restrictions, each Managing Partner and Contributing Partner has the right to exchange the AOG Units that he holds through his partnership interest in Holdings for our Class A shares in a taxable transaction. These exchanges, as well as our acquisitions of units from our Managing Partners or Contributing Partners, may result in increases in the tax basis of the intangible assets of the Apollo Operating Group that otherwise would not have been available. Any such increases may reduce the amount of tax that APO Corp. (“APO Corp.”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, LLC, would otherwise be required to pay in the future.
We have entered into a tax receivable agreement with our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners that provides for the payment by APO Corp., to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners of 85% of the amount of actual tax savings, if any, that APO Corp. realizes (or is deemed to realize in the case of an early termination payment by APO Corp. or a change of control, as discussed below) as a result of these increases in tax deductions and tax basis and certain other tax benefits, including imputed interest expense, related to entering into the tax receivable agreement. In April 2014 and April 2013, the Apollo Operating Group made a distribution of $32.0 million and $30.4 million, respectively, to APO Corp. and APO Corp. made a payment to satisfy the liability under the tax receivable agreement to the Managing Partners and Contributing Partners from a realized tax benefit for the tax years 2012 and 2011. Future payments that APO Corp. may make to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners could be material in amount. In the event that any other of our current or future U.S. subsidiaries become taxable as corporations and acquire AOG Units in the future, or if we become taxable as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, we expect, and have agreed that, each U.S corporation will become subject to a tax receivable agreement with substantially similar terms.
The IRS could challenge our claim to any increase in the tax basis of the assets owned by the Apollo Operating Group that results from the exchanges entered into by the Managing Partners or Contributing Partners. The IRS could also challenge any additional tax depreciation and amortization deductions or other tax benefits (including deductions for imputed interest expense associated with payments made under the tax receivable agreement) we claim as a result of, or in connection with, such increases in the tax basis of such assets. If the IRS were to successfully challenge a tax basis increase or tax benefits we previously claimed from a tax basis increase, Holdings would not be obligated under the tax receivable agreement to reimburse APO Corp. for any payments previously made to them (although any future payments would be adjusted to reflect the result of such challenge). As a result, in certain circumstances, payments could be made to our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners under the tax receivable agreement in excess of 85% of the actual aggregate cash tax savings of APO Corp. APO Corp.’s ability to achieve benefits from any tax basis increase and the payments to be made under this agreement will depend upon a number of factors, including the timing and amount of its future income.
In addition, the tax receivable agreement provides that, upon a merger, asset sale or other form of business combination or certain other changes of control, APO Corp.’s (or its successor’s) obligations with respect to exchanged or acquired units (whether exchanged or acquired before or after such change of control) would be based on certain assumptions, including that APO Corp. would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize the deductions arising from the increased tax deductions and tax basis and other benefits related to entering into the tax receivable agreement. See “Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Tax Receivable Agreement.”
If we were deemed an investment company under the Investment Company Act, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our businesses as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our businesses and the price of our Class A shares.
We do not believe that we are an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act because the nature of our assets and the income derived from those assets allow us to rely on the exception provided by Rule 3a-1 issued under the Investment Company Act. In addition, we believe we are not an investment company under Section 3(b)(1) of the Investment Company Act because we are primarily engaged in non-investment company businesses. We intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. However, if we were to be deemed an investment company, we would be taxed as a corporation and other restrictions imposed by the Investment Company Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates that apply to us, could make it impractical for us to continue our businesses as contemplated and would have a material adverse effect on our businesses and the price of our Class A shares.
Risks Related to Taxation
You may be subject to U.S. Federal income tax on your share of our taxable income, regardless of whether you receive any cash distributions from us.
Under current law, so long as we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act and 90% of our gross income for each taxable year constitutes “qualifying income” within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code on a continuing basis, we will be treated, for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, as a partnership and not as an association or a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation. You may be subject to U.S. Federal, state, local and possibly, in some cases, foreign income taxation on your allocable share of our items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit for each of our taxable years ending with or within your taxable year, regardless of whether or not you receive cash distributions from us. Accordingly, you may be required to make tax payments in connection with your ownership of Class A shares that significantly exceed your cash distributions in any specific year.
If we are treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, the value of the Class A shares would be adversely affected.
The value of your investment will depend in part on our company being treated as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, which requires that 90% or more of our gross income for every taxable year consist of qualifying income, as defined in Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code, and that we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act and related rules. Although we intend to manage our affairs so that our partnership will meet the 90% test described above in each taxable year, we may not meet these requirements or, as discussed below, current law may change so as to cause, in either event, our partnership to be treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. If we were treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, (i) we would become subject to corporate income tax and (ii) distributions to shareholders would be taxable as dividends for U.S. Federal income tax purposes to the extent of our earnings and profits.
Current law may change, causing us to be treated as a corporation for U.S. Federal or state income tax purposes or otherwise subjecting us to entity level taxation. See "—Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure—Although not enacted, the U.S. Congress has considered legislation that would have: (i) in some cases after a ten-year transition period, precluded us from qualifying as a partnership or required us to hold carried interest through taxable corporations and (ii) taxed certain income and gains at increased rates. If similar legislation were to be enacted and apply to us, the value of our Class A shares could be adversely affected." Because of widespread state budget deficits, several states are evaluating ways to subject partnerships to entity level taxation through the imposition of state income, franchise or other forms of taxation. If any state were to impose a tax upon us as an entity, our distributions to you would be reduced.
Our structure involves complex provisions of U.S. Federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. Our structure is also subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative change and differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.
The U.S. Federal income tax treatment of holders of Class A shares depends in some instances on determinations of fact and interpretations of complex provisions of U.S. Federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. You should be aware that the U.S. Federal income tax rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department, frequently resulting in revised interpretations of established concepts, statutory changes, revisions to regulations and other modifications and interpretations. The IRS pays close attention to the proper application of tax laws to partnerships and entities taxed as partnerships. The present U.S. Federal income tax treatment of an investment in our Class A shares may be modified by administrative, legislative or judicial interpretation at any time, and any such action may affect investments and commitments previously made. Changes to the U.S. Federal income tax laws and interpretations thereof could make it more difficult or impossible to meet the exception for us to be treated as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes that is not taxable as a corporation, affect or cause us to change our investments and commitments, affect the tax considerations of an investment in us, change the character or treatment of portions of our income (including, for instance, the treatment of carried interest as ordinary income rather than capital gain) and adversely affect an investment in our Class A shares. For example, as discussed above under “—Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure—Although not enacted, the U.S. Congress has considered legislation that would have: (i) in some cases after a ten-year transition period, precluded us from qualifying as a partnership or required us to hold carried interest through taxable corporations; and (ii) taxed certain income and gains at increased rates. If similar legislation were to be enacted and apply to us, the value of our Class A shares could be adversely affected,” the U.S. Congress has considered various legislative proposals to treat all or part of the capital gain and dividend income that is recognized by an investment partnership and allocable to a partner affiliated with the sponsor of the partnership (i.e., a portion of the carried interest) as ordinary income to such partner for U.S. Federal income tax purposes.
Our operating agreement permits our manager to modify our operating agreement from time to time, without the consent of the holders of Class A shares, to address certain changes in U.S. Federal income tax regulations, legislation or interpretation. In some circumstances, such revisions could have a material adverse impact on some or all holders of Class A shares. For instance, our manager could elect at some point to treat us as an association taxable as a corporation for U.S. Federal (and applicable state) income tax purposes. If our manager were to do this, the U.S. Federal income tax consequences of owning our Class A shares would be materially different. Moreover, we will apply certain assumptions and conventions in an attempt to comply with applicable rules and to report income, gain, deduction, loss and credit to holders of Class A shares in a manner that reflects such beneficial ownership of items by holders of Class A shares, taking into account variation in ownership interests during each taxable year because of trading activity. However, those assumptions and conventions may not be in compliance with all aspects of applicable tax requirements. It is possible that the IRS will assert successfully that the conventions and assumptions used by us do not satisfy the technical requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and/or Treasury regulations and could require that items of income, gain, deductions, loss or credit, including interest deductions, be adjusted, reallocated or disallowed in a manner that adversely affects holders of Class A shares.
Our interests in certain of our businesses are held through entities that are treated as corporations for U.S. Federal income tax purposes; such corporations may be liable for significant taxes and may create other adverse tax consequences, which could potentially adversely affect the value of your investment.
In light of the publicly traded partnership rules under U.S. Federal income tax law and other requirements, we hold our interests in certain of our businesses through entities that are treated as corporations for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Each such corporation could be liable for significant U.S. Federal income taxes and applicable state, local and other taxes that would not otherwise be incurred, which could adversely affect the value of your investment. Furthermore, it is possible that the IRS could challenge the manner in which such corporation’s taxable income is computed by us.
Changes in U.S. tax law could adversely affect our ability to raise funds from certain foreign investors.
Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, certain U.S. withholding agents, or USWAs, foreign financial institutions, or FFIs, and non-financial foreign entities, or NFFEs, are required to report information about offshore accounts and investments to the U.S. or their local taxing authorities annually. In response to this legislation, various foreign governments have entered into Intergovernmental Agreements, or IGAs, with the U.S. Government and some have enacted similar legislation.
In order to meet these regulatory obligations, Apollo will be required to register FFIs with the IRS, evaluate internal FATCA procedures, expand the review of investor Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer and tax forms, evaluate the FATCA offerings by third party administrators and ensure that Apollo is prepared for the new global tax and information reporting requirements created under the U.S. and Non U.S. FATCA regimes.
Further, FATCA as well as Chapters 3 and 61 of the Internal Revenue Code, require Apollo to collect new IRS Tax Forms (W-9 and W-8 series), UK/Cayman Self-Certifications and other supporting documentation from their investors. Apollo will undertake efforts to re-paper their existing investors.
Failure to meet these regulatory requirements could expose Apollo and/or its investors to a punitive withholding tax of 30% on certain U.S. payments (and beginning in 2017, a 30% withholding tax on gross proceeds from the sale of U.S. stocks and securities), and possibly limit their ability to open bank accounts and secure funding the global capital markets. The reporting obligations imposed under FATCA require FFIs to comply with agreements with the IRS to obtain and disclose information about certain investors to the IRS. The administrative and economic costs of compliance with FATCA may discourage some foreign investors from investing in U.S. funds, which could adversely affect our ability to raise funds from these investors.
Federal tax reform efforts will continue which may involve tax uncertainties and risks.
It is anticipated that the U.S. Congress will continue examining proposals that would provide for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. Federal income tax laws, which could result in sweeping changes to many longstanding tax rules. Reform efforts could result in lower statutory tax rates, but could be offset by tax changes that would result in significant increases in the taxation of financial institutions and products, some of which could adversely affect our business. Examples of these tax reform proposals may include changing the tax treatment of executive compensation, including bonuses, consideration of taxes on derivatives and other financial instruments, and adverse changes to the tax treatment of carried interest. Other changes could eliminate or limit certain tax benefits currently available to cash value life insurance and deferred annuity products. Enactment of these changes or similar alternatives would likely adversely affect new sales, and possibly funding of existing cash value life insurance and deferred annuity products.
Similarly, President Obama’s revenue proposal for 2015 provides for (among other things) (i) increasing the tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains from 20% to 24%, (ii) imposing a 14% transition tax on accumulated foreign earnings, and (iii) imposing a new 19% minimum tax on foreign earnings in future taxable years. At this time, it is difficult for management to predict what the overall impact of future tax reform efforts will have on our funds and our business, but there is the potential for significant changes in U.S. federal laws related to the tax treatment of products and services provided by Apollo and investments made by our funds.
The President’s revenue proposal for 2015 recommends elimination of certain key U.S. federal income tax incentives currently available to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, and legislation has been introduced in Congress that would implement many of these proposals. These changes include, but are not limited to, (i) the repeal of the percentage depletion allowance for oil and natural gas properties, (ii) the elimination of current deductions for intangible drilling and development costs, (iii) the elimination of the deduction for certain domestic production activities, and (iv) an extension of the amortization period for certain geological and geophysical expenditures. It is unclear whether these or similar changes will be enacted and, if enacted, how soon any such changes could become effective. The passage of this legislation or any other similar changes in U.S. federal income tax laws could eliminate or postpone certain tax deductions that are currently available with respect to oil and natural gas exploration and development, and any such change could negatively affect the performance of our funds and in turn our performance.
We may hold or acquire certain investments through an entity classified as a PFIC or CFC for U.S. Federal income tax purposes.
Certain of our investments may be in foreign corporations or may be acquired through foreign subsidiaries that would be classified as corporations for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Such entities may be passive foreign investment companies, or “PFICs,” or controlled foreign corporations, or “CFCs,” for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. For example, APO (FC), LLC is considered to be a CFC for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. Class A shareholders indirectly owning an interest in a PFIC or a CFC may experience adverse U.S. tax consequences, including the recognition of taxable income prior to the receipt of cash relating to such income. In addition, gain on the sale of a PFIC or CFC may be taxable at ordinary income tax rates.
Complying with certain tax-related requirements may cause us to forego otherwise attractive business or investment opportunities or enter into acquisitions, borrowings, financings or arrangements we may not have otherwise entered into.
In order for us to be treated as a partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, and not as an association or publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation, we must meet the qualifying income exception discussed above on a continuing basis and we must not be required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. In order to effect such treatment we (or our subsidiaries) may be required to invest through foreign or domestic corporations, forego attractive business or investment opportunities or enter into borrowings or financings we may not have otherwise entered into. This may cause us to incur additional tax liability and/or adversely affect our ability to operate solely to maximize our cash flow. Our structure also may impede our ability to engage in certain corporate acquisitive transactions because we generally intend to hold all of our assets through the Apollo Operating Group. In addition, we may be unable to participate in certain corporate reorganization transactions that would be tax free to our holders if we were a corporation. To the extent we hold assets other than through the Apollo Operating Group, we will make appropriate adjustments to the Apollo Operating Group agreements so that distributions to Holdings and us would be the same as if such assets were held at that level. Moreover, we are precluded by a contract with one of the Strategic Investors from acquiring assets in a manner that would cause that Strategic Investor to be engaged in a commercial activity within the meaning of Section 892 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Tax gain or loss on disposition of our Class A shares could be more or less than expected.
If you sell your Class A shares, you will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and your adjusted tax basis allocated to those Class A shares. Prior distributions to you in excess of the total net taxable income allocated to you will have decreased the tax basis in your Class A shares. Therefore, such excess distributions will increase your taxable gain, or decrease your taxable loss, when the Class A shares are sold and may result in a taxable gain even if the sale price is less than the original cost. A portion of the amount realized, whether or not representing gain, may be ordinary income to you.
We cannot match transferors and transferees of Class A shares, and we have therefore adopted certain income tax accounting conventions that may not conform with all aspects of applicable tax requirements. The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could adversely affect the value of our Class A shares.
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of Class A shares, we have adopted depreciation, amortization and other tax accounting positions that may not conform with all aspects of existing Treasury regulations. A successful IRS challenge to those positions could adversely affect the amount of tax benefits available to holders of Class A shares. It also could affect the timing of these tax benefits or the amount of gain on the sale of Class A shares and could have a negative impact on the value of Class A shares or result in audits of and adjustments to the tax returns of holders of Class A shares.
The sale or exchange of 50% or more of our capital and profit interests will result in the termination of our partnership for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. We will be considered to have been terminated for U.S. Federal income tax purposes if there is a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interests in our capital and profits within a twelve-month period. Our termination would, among other things, result in the closing of our taxable year for all holders of Class A shares and could result in a deferral of depreciation deductions allowable in computing our taxable income.
Non-U.S. persons face unique U.S. tax issues from owning Class A shares that may result in adverse tax consequences to them.
In light of our investment activities, we may be, or may become, engaged in a U.S. trade or business for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, in which case some portion of our income would be treated as effectively connected income with respect to non-U.S. holders of our Class A shares, or “ECI.” Moreover, dividends paid by an investment that we make in a real estate investment trust, or “REIT,” that are attributable to gains from the sale of U.S. real property interests and sales of certain investments in interests in U.S. real property, including stock of certain U.S. corporations owning significant U.S. real property, may be treated as ECI with respect to non-U.S. holders of our Class A shares. In addition, certain income of non-U.S. holders from U.S. sources not connected to any U.S. trade or business conducted by us could be treated as ECI. To the extent our income is treated as ECI, each non-U.S. holder generally would be subject to withholding tax on its allocable share of such income, would be required to file a U.S. Federal income tax return for such year reporting its allocable share of income effectively connected with such trade or business and any other income treated as ECI, and would be subject to U.S. Federal income tax at regular U.S. tax rates on any such income (state and local income taxes and filings may also apply in that event). Non-U.S. holders that are corporations may also be subject to a 30% branch profits tax on their allocable share of such income. In addition, certain income from U.S. sources that is not ECI allocable to non-U.S. holders may be reduced by withholding taxes imposed at the highest effective applicable tax rate.
An investment in Class A shares will give rise to UBTI to certain tax-exempt holders.
We will not make investments through taxable U.S. corporations solely for the purpose of limiting unrelated business taxable income ("UBTI") from “debt-financed” property and, thus, an investment in Class A shares will give rise to UBTI to tax-exempt holders of Class A shares. For example, APO Asset Co., LLC will hold interests in entities treated as partnerships, or otherwise subject to tax on a flow-through basis, that will incur indebtedness. Moreover, if the IRS successfully asserts that we are engaged in a trade or business, then additional amounts of income could be treated as UBTI.
We do not intend to make, or cause to be made, an election under Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code to adjust our asset basis or the asset basis of certain of the Apollo Operating Group Partnerships. Thus, a holder of Class A shares could be allocated more taxable income in respect of those Class A shares prior to disposition than if such an election were made.
We did not make and currently do not intend to make, or cause to be made, an election to adjust asset basis under Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to Apollo Principal Holdings I, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings II, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings III, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings IV, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings V, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings VI, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings VII, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings VIII, L.P., Apollo Principal Holdings IX, L.P. and Apollo Principal Holdings X, L.P. If no such election is made, there will generally be no adjustment for a transferee of Class A shares even if the purchase price of those Class A shares is higher than the Class A shares’ share of the aggregate tax basis of our assets immediately prior to the transfer. In that case, on a sale of an asset, gain allocable to a transferee could include built-in gain allocable to the transferor at the time of the transfer, which built-in gain would otherwise generally be eliminated if a Section 754 election had been made.
Class A shareholders may be subject to state and local taxes and return filing requirements as a result of investing in our Class A shares.
In addition to U.S. Federal income taxes, our Class A shareholders may be subject to other taxes, including state and local taxes, unincorporated business taxes and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property now or in the future, even if our Class A shareholders do not reside in any of those jurisdictions. Our Class A shareholders may also be required to file state and local income tax returns and pay state and local income taxes in some or all of these jurisdictions. Further, Class A shareholders may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. It is the responsibility of each Class A shareholder to file all U.S. Federal, state and local tax returns that may be required of such Class A shareholder.
We may not be able to furnish to each Class A shareholder specific tax information within 90 days after the close of each calendar year, which means that holders of Class A shares who are U.S. taxpayers should anticipate the need to file annually a request for an extension of the due date of their income tax return. In addition, it is possible that Class A shareholders may be required to file amended income tax returns.
As a publicly traded partnership, our operating results, including distributions of income, dividends, gains, losses or deductions and adjustments to carrying basis, will be reported on Schedule K-1 and distributed to each Class A shareholder annually. It may require longer than 90 days after the end of our fiscal year to obtain the requisite information from all lower-tier entities so that K-1s may be prepared for us. For this reason, Class A shareholders who are U.S. taxpayers should anticipate the need to file annually with the IRS (and certain states) a request for an extension past April 15 or the otherwise applicable due date of their income tax return for the taxable year.
In addition, it is possible that a Class A shareholder will be required to file amended income tax returns as a result of adjustments to items on the corresponding income tax returns of the partnership. Any obligation for a Class A shareholder to file amended income tax returns for that or any other reason, including any costs incurred in the preparation or filing of such returns, are the responsibility of each Class A shareholder.
You may be subject to an additional U.S. Federal income tax on net investment income allocated to you by us and on gain on the sale of the Class A shares.
As of 2013, individuals, estates and trusts are subject to an additional 3.8% tax on “net investment income” (or undistributed “net investment income,” in the case of estates and trusts) for each taxable year, with such tax applying to the lesser of such income or the excess of such person’s adjusted gross income (with certain adjustments) over a specified amount. Net investment income includes net income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents and net gain attributable to the disposition of investment property. It is anticipated that net income and gain attributable to an investment in us will be included in a holder of the Class A share's “net investment income” subject to this additional tax.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
Our principal executive offices are located in leased office space at 9 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019. We also lease the space for our offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Bethesda, Chicago, Toronto, London, Singapore, Frankfurt, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Luxembourg. We do not own any real property. We consider these facilities to be suitable and adequate for the management and operation of our businesses.
Litigation and Contingencies—Apollo is, from time to time, party to various legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business including claims and lawsuits, reviews, investigations or proceedings by governmental and self regulatory agencies regarding its business.
In March 2012, plaintiffs filed two putative class actions, captioned Kelm v. Chase Bank (No. 12-cv-332) and Miller v. 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. (No. 12-cv-396), in the District of Connecticut on behalf of a class of consumers alleging online fraud. The defendants included, among others, Trilegiant Corporation, Inc. (“Trilegiant”), its parent company, Affinion Group, LLC (“Affinion”), and Apollo Global Management, LLC ("AGM"), which is affiliated with funds that are the beneficial owners of 68% of Affinion’s common stock. In both cases, plaintiffs allege that Trilegiant, aided by its business partners, who include e-merchants and credit card companies, developed a set of business practices intended to create consumer confusion and ultimately defraud consumers into unknowingly paying fees to clubs for unwanted services. Plaintiffs allege that AGM is a proper defendant because of its indirect stock ownership and ability to appoint the majority of Affinion’s board. The complaints assert claims under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act; the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act; and the California Business and Professional Code, and seek, among other things, restitution or disgorgement, injunctive relief, compensatory, treble and punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. The allegations in Kelm and Miller are substantially similar to those in Schnabel v. Trilegiant Corp. (No. 3:10-cv-957), a putative class action filed in the District of Connecticut in 2010 that names only Trilegiant and Affinion as defendants. The court has consolidated the Kelm, Miller, and Schnabel cases under the caption In re: Trilegiant Corporation, Inc. and ordered that they proceed on the same schedule. On June 18, 2012, the court appointed lead plaintiffs’ counsel, and on September 7, 2012, plaintiffs filed their consolidated amended complaint (“CAC”), which alleges the same causes of action against AGM as did the complaints in the Kelm and Miller cases. Defendants filed motions to dismiss on December 7, 2012, plaintiffs filed opposition papers on February 7, 2013, and defendants filed replies on April 5, 2013. On December 5, 2012, plaintiffs filed another putative class action, captioned Frank v. Trilegiant Corp. (No. 12- cv-1721), in the District of Connecticut, naming the same defendants and containing allegations substantially similar to those in the CAC. On January 23, 2013, plaintiffs moved to transfer and consolidate Frank into In re: Trilegiant. On July 24, 2013 the Frank court transferred the case to Judge Bryant, who is presiding over In re: Trilegiant, and on March 28, 2014, Judge Bryant granted the motion to consolidate. On September 25, 2013, the court held oral argument on defendants’ motions to dismiss. On March 28, 2014, the court granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss filed by Affinion and Trilegiant on behalf of all defendants, and also granted separate motions to dismiss filed by certain defendants, including AGM. On that same day, the court directed the clerk to terminate AGM as a defendant in the consolidated action. On April 28, 2014, plaintiffs moved for interlocutory review of certain of the court’s motion-to-dismiss rulings, not including its order granting AGM’s separate dismissal motion. Defendants filed a response on May 23, 2014, and plaintiffs replied on June 5, 2014. On November 13, 2014, plaintiffs and the remaining defendants filed a Joint Status Report Regarding Discovery stating that no discovery has taken place since plaintiffs filed their interlocutory-review motion.
Various state attorneys general and federal and state agencies have initiated industry-wide investigations into the use of placement agents in connection with the solicitation of investments, particularly with respect to investments by public pension funds. Certain affiliates of Apollo have received subpoenas and other requests for information from various government regulatory agencies and investors in Apollo’s funds, seeking information regarding the use of placement agents. CalPERS, one of our Strategic Investors, announced on October 14, 2009, that it had initiated a special review of placement agents and related issues. The report of the CalPERS Special Review was issued on March 14, 2011. That report does not allege any wrongdoing on the part of Apollo or its affiliates. Apollo is continuing to cooperate with all such investigations and other reviews. In addition, on May 6, 2010, the California Attorney General filed a civil complaint against Alfred Villalobos and his company, Arvco Capital Research, LLC (“Arvco”) (a placement agent that Apollo has used) and Federico Buenrostro Jr., the former CEO of CalPERS, alleging conduct in violation of certain California laws in connection with CalPERS’s purchase of securities in various funds managed by Apollo and another asset manager. Apollo is not a party to the civil lawsuit and the lawsuit does not allege any misconduct on the part of Apollo. Likewise, on April 23, 2012, the SEC filed a lawsuit alleging securities fraud on the part of Arvco, as well as Messrs. Buenrostro and Villalobos, in connection with their activities concerning certain CalPERS investments in funds managed by Apollo. This lawsuit also does not allege wrongdoing on the part of Apollo, and alleges that Apollo was defrauded by Arvco, Villalobos, and Buenrostro. On March 14, 2013, the United States Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Messrs. Villalobos and Buenrostro alleging, among other crimes, fraud in connection with those same activities; again, Apollo is not accused of any wrongdoing and in fact is alleged to have been defrauded by the defendants. The criminal action was set for trial in a San Francisco federal court in July 2014, but was put on hold after Mr. Buenrostro pleaded guilty on July 11, 2014. As part of Mr. Buenrostro’s plea agreement, he admitted to taking cash and other bribes from Mr. Villalobos in exchange for several improprieties, including attempting to influence CalPERS’ investing decisions and improperly preparing disclosure letters to satisfy Apollo’s requirements. There is no suggestion that Apollo was aware that Mr. Buenrostro had signed the letters with a corrupt motive. The government has indicated that they will file new charges against Mr. Villalobos incorporating Mr. Buenrostro’s admissions. On August 7, 2014, the government filed a superseding indictment against Mr. Villalobos asserting additional charges. Trial had been scheduled for February 23, 2015, but Mr. Villalobos passed away on January 13, 2015. Additionally, on April 15, 2013, Mr. Villalobos, Arvco and related entities (the “Arvco Debtors”) brought a civil action in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada (the “Bankruptcy Court”) against Apollo. The action is related to the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings of the Arvco Debtors. This action alleges that Arvco served as a placement agent for Apollo in connection with several funds associated with Apollo, and seeks to recover purported fees the Arvco Debtors claim Apollo has not paid them for a portion of Arvco’s placement agent services. In addition, the Arvco Debtors allege that Apollo has interfered with the Arvco Debtors’
commercial relationships with third parties, purportedly causing the Arvco Debtors to lose business and to incur fees and expenses in the defense of various investigations and litigations. The Arvco Debtors also seek compensation from Apollo for these alleged lost profits and fees and expenses. The Arvco Debtors’ complaint asserts various theories of recovery under the Bankruptcy Code and common law. Apollo denies the merit of all of the Arvco Debtors’ claims and will vigorously contest them. The Bankruptcy Court has stayed this action pending the result in the criminal case against Mr. Villalobos. For these reasons, no estimate of possible loss, if any, can be made at this time.
On June 18, 2014, BOKF N.A. (the “First Lien Trustee”), the successor indenture trustee under the indenture governing the First Lien Notes issued by Momentive Performance Materials, Inc. (“Momentive”), commenced a lawsuit in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, New York County against AGM and members of an ad hoc group of Second Lien Noteholders (including, but not limited to, Euro VI (BC) S.a.r.l.). The First Lien Trustee amended its complaint on July 2, 2014 (the “First Lien Intercreditor Action”). In the First Lien Intercreditor Action, the First Lien Trustee seeks, among other things, a declaration that the defendants violated an intercreditor agreement entered into between holders of the first lien notes and holders of the second lien notes. On July 16, 2014, the successor indenture trustee under the indenture governing the 1.5 Lien Notes (the “1.5 Lien Trustee,” and, together with the First Lien Trustee, the “Indenture Trustees”) filed an action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County that is substantially similar to the First Lien Intercreditor Action (the “1.5 Lien Intercreditor Action,” and, together with the First Lien Intercreditor Action, the “Intercreditor Actions”). AGM subsequently removed the Intercreditor Actions to federal district court, and the Intercreditor Actions were automatically referred to the Bankruptcy Court adjudicating the Momentive chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. The Indenture Trustees then filed motions with the Bankruptcy Court to remand the Intercreditor Actions back to the state court (the “Remand Motions”). On September 9, 2014, the Bankruptcy Court denied the Remand Motions. On August 15, 2014, the defendants in the Intercreditor Actions (including AGM) filed a motion to dismiss the 1.5 Lien Intercreditor Action and a motion for judgment on the pleadings in the First Lien Intercreditor Action (the “Dismissal Motions”). On September 30, 2014, the Bankruptcy Court granted the Dismissal Motions. In its order granting the Dismissal Motions, the Bankruptcy Court gave the Indenture Trustees until mid-November 2014 to move to amend some, but not all, of the claims alleged in their respective complaints. On November 14, 2014, the Indenture Trustees moved to amend their respective complaints pursuant to the Bankruptcy Court’s order (the “Motions to Amend”). On January 9, 2015, the defendants filed their oppositions to the Motions to Amend. On January 16, 2015, the Bankruptcy Court denied the Motions to Amend. The Bankruptcy Court gave the Indenture Trustees until March 2, 2015 to seek to amend their respective complaints. The Indenture Trustees have not yet indicated whether they intend to file additional motions to amend. Accordingly, we are unable at this time to assess a potential risk of loss. In addition, we do not believe that AGM is a proper defendant in these actions.
On June 13, 2014, plaintiffs Stark Master Fund Ltd and Stark Global Opportunities Master Fund Ltd filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against AGM and Apollo Management Holdings, L.P. (the “Apollo Defendants”), as well as Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities (USA) LLC (the “Bank Defendants”). The complaint alleges that AGM and the other defendants entered into an undisclosed and improper agreement concerning the financing of a potential acquisition by Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc., and on this basis alleges a variety of common law misrepresentation claims, both intentional and negligent. The Apollo Defendants and Bank Defendants filed motions to dismiss the complaint on October 15, 2014. Rather than respond to the motions, plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on November 5, 2014. The Apollo Defendants and Bank Defendants filed motions to dismiss the Amended Complaint on December 23, 2014. Plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to conduct jurisdictional discovery on February 2, 2015, and pursuant to the parties' stipulation approved by the court the motion shall be fully briefed on or before March 9, 2015. Plaintiffs must file their opposition to Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint on or before 30 days following either a decision from the Court on Plaintiffs’ motion for jurisdictional discovery or the close of jurisdictional discovery, whichever is later. Because the claims against the Apollo Defendants are in their early stages, no reasonable estimate of possible loss, if any, can be made at this time.
There are several pending actions concerning transactions related to Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc.’s (“CEOC”) restructuring efforts. Apollo is not a defendant in these matters.
In re: Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. bankruptcy proceedings, No. 15-10047 (Del. Bk.) (the “Delaware Bankruptcy Action”) and No. 15-01145 (N.D. Ill. Bk.) (the “Illinois Bankruptcy Action”). On January 12, 2015, three holders of CEOC second lien notes issued filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against CEOC in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
On February 2, 2015, the court in the Delaware Bankruptcy Action ordered that all CEOC bankruptcy proceedings should take place in the Illinois Bankruptcy Action.
Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Caesars Entertainment Corp. et al., No. 10004-CVG (Del. Ch.) (the “Trustee Action”). On August 4, 2014, Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB
(“WSFS”), as trustee for certain CEOC second-lien notes, sued Caesars Entertainment Corporation (“Caesars Entertainment”), Caesars Entertainment’s subsidiary, CEOC, other Caesars Entertainment-affiliated entities, and certain of Caesars Entertainment’s directors, including Marc Rowan, Eric Press, David Sambur (each an Apollo Partner) and Jeff Benjamin (an Apollo consultant), in the Delaware Chancery Court. WSFS (i) asserts claims (against some or all of the defendants) for fraudulent conveyance, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, corporate waste and aiding and abetting related to certain transactions between CEOC and other Caesars Entertainment affiliates, and (ii) requests (among other things) that the court unwind the challenged transactions and award damages. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss or stay the Trustee Action in favor of the Caesars Action, which was argued on December 5, 2014.
Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., et al. v. Appaloosa Investment Ltd. P’ship et al., No. 652392/2014 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) (the “Caesars Action”). On August 5, 2014, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Caesars Entertainment’s subsidiary CEOC sued certain institutional CEOC second-lien noteholders and CEOC first-lien noteholder Elliott Management Corporation (“EMC”). On September 15, 2014, an amended complaint was filed adding WSFS as a defendant. The amended complaint asserts claims for (among other things) tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, a declaratory judgment that certain transactions related to CEOC’s restructuring are valid and appropriate and that there has not been a default under the indentures governing the notes. On October 15, 2014, defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, and the motion was fully briefed on December 1, 2014. On January 15, 2015, Caesars Entertainment and CEOC agreed to voluntarily dismiss their claims against EMC without prejudice, and EMC agreed to withdraw its motion to dismiss without prejudice. The remaining parties in the Caesars Action and the parties in the Trustee action described below have agreed to stay discovery pending decision on the respective motions to dismiss.
Meehancombs Global Credit Opportunities Master Fund, L.P., et al. v. Caesars Entertainment Corp., et al., No. 14-cv-7091 (S.D.N.Y.) (the “Meehancombs Action”). On September 3, 2014, institutional investors allegedly holding approximately $137 million in CEOC unsecured senior notes sued CEOC and Caesars Entertainment for breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith, Trust Indenture Act violations and a declaratory judgment challenging the August 2014 private financing transaction in which a portion of outstanding senior unsecured notes were purchased by Caesars Entertainment, and a majority of the noteholders agreed to amend the indenture to terminate Caesars Entertainment’s guarantee of the notes and modify certain restrictions on CEOC’s ability to sell assets. On October 2, 2014, a related putative class action complaint was filed on behalf of the holders of these notes captioned Danner v. Caesars Entertainment Corp., et al., No. 14-cv-7973 (S.D.N.Y.) (the “Danner Action”), against Caesars Entertainment alleging similar claims to the Meehancombs Action. Caesars Entertainment and CEOC filed a motion to dismiss on November 12, 2014. On January 15, 2015, the court granted the motion with respect to a Trust Indenture Act claim by Meehancombs but otherwise denied the motion. On January 30, 2015, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint seeking relief against Caesars Entertainment only, which Caesars Entertainment answered on February 12, 2015.
UMB Bank v. Caesars Entertainment Corporation, et al., No. 10393 (Del. Ch.) (the “UMB Action.”). On November 25, 2014, UMB Bank, as trustee for certain CEOC notes, sued Caesars Entertainment, CEOC, other Caesars Entertainment-affiliated entities, and certain of Caesars Entertainment’s directors, including Marc Rowan, Eric Press, David Sambur (each an Apollo Partner) and Jeffrey Benjamin (an Apollo consultant), in Delaware Chancery Court. The lawsuit alleges claims for actual and constructive fraudulent conveyance and transfer, insider preferences, illegal dividends, breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunities, and unjust enrichment. The UMB Action seeks appointment of a receiver for CEOC, a constructive trust, and other relief. The UMB Action has been assigned to the same judge overseeing the Trustee Action. Upon filing the complaint, UMB Bank moved to expedite is claim seeking a receiver, on which the court held oral argument on December 17, 2014. On January 15, 2015, the court entered a stipulated order staying the UMB Action as to all parties due to CEOC’s bankruptcy filing.
Koskie v. Caesars Acquisition Company, et al., No. A-14-711712-C (Clark Cnty Nev. Dist. Ct.) (the “Koskie Action”). On December 30, 2014, Nicholas Koskie brought a shareholder class action on behalf of shareholders of Caesars Acquisition Company (“CAC”) against CAC, Caesars Entertainment, and members of CAC’s Board of Directors, including Marc Rowan and David Sambur (each an Apollo partner). The lawsuit challenges CAC and Caesars Entertainment’s plan to merge, alleging that the proposed transaction will not give CAC shareholders fair value. Koskie asserts claims for breach of fiduciary duty relating to the director defendants’ interrelationships with the entities involved the proposed transaction.
Apollo believes that the claims in the Trustee Action, the UMB Action, the Meehancombs Action, the Danner Action, and the Koskie Action are without merit. For this reason, and because the claims are in their early stages, and because of pending bankruptcy proceedings involving CEOC, no reasonable estimate of possible loss, if any, can be made at this time.
Following the January 16, 2014 announcement that CEC Entertainment, Inc. (“CEC”) had entered into a merger agreement with certain entities affiliated with Apollo (the “Merger Agreement”), four putative shareholder class actions were filed in the District Court of Shawnee County, Kansas on behalf of purported stockholders of CEC against, among others, CEC, its directors and Apollo and certain of its affiliates, which include Queso Holdings Inc., Q Merger Sub Inc., Apollo Management VIII, L.P., and AP VIII Queso Holdings, L.P. The first purported class action, which is captioned Hilary Coyne v. Richard M. Frank et al., Case No. 14C57, was filed on January 21, 2014 (the “Coyne Action”). The second purported class action, which was captioned John Solak v. CEC Entertainment, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 14C55, was filed on January 22, 2014 (the “Solak Action”). The Solak Action was dismissed for lack of prosecution on October 14, 2014. The third purported class action, which is captioned Irene Dixon v. CEC Entertainment, Inc. et al., Case No. 14C81, was filed on January 24, 2014 and additionally names as defendants Apollo Management VIII, L.P. and AP VIII Queso Holdings, L.P. (the “Dixon Action”). The fourth purported class action, which is captioned Louisiana Municipal Public Employees’ Retirement System v. Frank, et al., Case No. 14C97, was filed on January 31, 2014 (the “LMPERS Action”) (together with the Coyne and Dixon Actions, the “Shareholder Actions”). A fifth purported class action, which was captioned McCullough v. Frank, et al., Case No. CC-14-00622-B, was filed in the County Court of Dallas County, Texas on February 7, 2014. This action was dismissed for want of prosecution on May 21, 2014. Each of the Shareholder Actions alleges, among other things, that CEC’s directors breached their fiduciary duties to CEC’s stockholders in connection with their consideration and approval of the Merger Agreement, including by agreeing to an inadequate price, agreeing to impermissible deal protection devices, and filing materially deficient disclosures regarding the transaction. Each of the Shareholder Actions further alleges that Apollo and certain of its affiliates aided and abetted those alleged breaches. As filed, the Shareholder Actions seek, among other things, rescission of the various transactions associated with the merger, damages and attorneys’ and experts’ fees and costs. On February 7, 2014 and February 11, 2014, the plaintiffs in the Shareholder Actions pursued a consolidated action for damages after the transaction closed. Thereafter, the Shareholder Actions were consolidated under the caption In re CEC Entertainment, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Case No. 14C57, and the parties have engaged in limited discovery. No defendant has any obligation to answer or otherwise respond to any of the complaints in the consolidated action until the plaintiffs file or designate an operative complaint. Although Apollo cannot predict the ultimate outcome of the above action, it believes that such action is without merit.
On June 10, 2014, Magnetar Global Event Driven Fund Ltd., Spectrum Opportunities Master Fund, Ltd., Magnetar Capital Master Fund, Ltd., and Blackwell Partners LLC, as the purported beneficial owners of shares held as of record by the nominal petitioner Cede & Co., (the “Appraisal Petitioners”), filed an action for statutory appraisal under Kansas state law against CEC in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, captioned Magnetar Global Event Driven Master Fund Ltd, et al. v. CEC Entertainment, Inc., 2:14-cv-02279-RDR-KGS. The Appraisal Petitioners seek appraisal of 750,000 shares of common stock. CEC has answered the complaint and filed a verified list of stockholders, as required under Kansas law. On September 3, 2014, the court entered a scheduling order that contemplated that discovery would commence in the fall of 2014 and would be substantially completed by May 2015. On January 13, 2015, the court entered a revised scheduling order that contemplated that fact discovery would be completed by March 13, 2015, expert discovery would be completed by June 15, 2015, and a pretrial conference would occur on June 29, 2015. Thereafter, the scheduling order contemplates dispositive motion practice and a trial on the merits of the Appraisal Petitioners’ claims. Although Apollo cannot predict the ultimate outcome of the above actions, Apollo believes that such actions are without merit.
On September 29, 2014, Athlon Energy Inc. (“Athlon”) and Encana Corporation (“Encana”) jointly announced that they had entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of September 27, 2014 (the “Merger Agreement”), pursuant to which a wholly-owned subsidiary of Encana (“Merger Sub”) would commence a tender offer (the “Offer”) to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Athlon common stock. Following completion of the Offer, Merger Sub would be merged with and into Athlon (the “Proposed Transaction”). On October 23, 2014, The City of Cambridge Retirement System filed a putative class action complaint captioned The City of Cambridge Retirement System v. Reeves, et al., C.A. No. 10277-VCG (the “Cambridge
Action”) in the Delaware Court of Chancery naming Merger Sub, AGM and members of Athlon’s board of directors as defendants. The Cambridge Action alleges, among other things, that members of Athlon’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duties in connection with their consideration and approval of the proposed transaction, and that Encana, Merger Sub and AGM aided and abetted those breaches of fiduciary duty. On November 3, 2014, the parties to the Cambridge Action and several other similar actions filed in Delaware and Texas state court before the Cambridge Action (none of which named AGM as a defendant (collectively, the “Actions”)), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to settle the Actions. On December 19, 2014, the parties to the Actions entered into a formal settlement agreement, and on December 22, 2014, the parties submitted the settlement agreement and accompanying papers to the court for its approval. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, AGM will not be required to contribute any cash and will be granted full and customary releases.
Although the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be ascertained at this time, Apollo is of the opinion, after consultation with counsel, that the resolution of any such matters to which it is a party at this time will not have a material adverse effect on the consolidated financial statements. Legal actions material to Apollo could, however, arise in the future.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
PART II—OTHER INFORMATION
MARKETS FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our Class A shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol “APO.” Our Class A shares began trading on the NYSE on March 30, 2011.
The number of holders of record of our Class A shares as of February 26, 2015 was 20. This does not include the number of shareholders that hold shares in “street name” through banks or broker-dealers. As of February 26, 2015, there was 1 holder of our Class B share.
The following table sets forth the high and low intra-day sales prices per unit of our Class A shares, for the periods indicated, as reported by the NYSE:
Cash Distribution Policy
With respect to fiscal year 2014, we paid four cash distributions of $1.08, $0.84, $0.46 and $0.73 per Class A share on February 26, 2014, May 30, 2014, August 29, 2014, and November 21, 2014, respectively (aggregating to $3.11 per Class A share), and we have declared an additional cash distribution of $0.86 per Class A share in respect of the fourth quarter of 2014 which will be paid on February 27, 2015 to holders of record of Class A shares at the close of business on February 17, 2015.
With respect to fiscal year 2013, we paid four cash distributions of $1.05, $0.57, $1.32 and $1.01 per Class A share on February 28, 2013, May 30, 2013, August 30, 2013, and November 29, 2013, respectively, aggregating to $3.95 per Class A share.
"Distributable Earnings", or "DE", as well as "DE After Taxes and Related Payables", are derived from our segment reported results, and are supplemental measures to assess performance and amounts available for distribution to Class A shareholders, holders of RSUs that participate in distributions and holders of AOG units. DE represents the amount of net realized earnings without the effects of the consolidation of any of the affiliated funds. DE, which is a component of Economic Net Income or "ENI", is the sum across all segments of (i) total management fees and advisory and transaction fees, excluding monitoring fees received from Athene based on its capital and surplus (as defined in Apollo's transaction advisory services agreement with Athene), (ii) other income (loss), excluding the gains (losses) arising from the reversal of a portion of the tax receivable agreement liability, (iii) realized carried interest income, and (iv) realized investment income, less (i) compensation expense, excluding the expense related to equity-based awards, (ii) realized profit sharing expense, and (iii) non-compensation expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization expense. DE After Taxes and Related Payables represents DE less estimated current corporate, local and non-U.S. taxes as well as the payable under Apollo's tax receivable agreement.
Our current intention is to distribute to our Class A shareholders on a quarterly basis substantially all of our Distributable Earnings attributable to Class A shareholders, in excess of amounts determined by our manager to be necessary or appropriate to provide for the conduct of our businesses, to make appropriate investments in our businesses and our funds, to comply with applicable law, any of our debt instruments or other agreements, or to provide for future distributions to our Class A shareholders for any ensuing quarter. Because we will not know what our actual available cash flow from operations will be for any year until
sometime after the end of such year, our fourth quarter distribution may be adjusted to take into account actual net after-tax cash flow from operations for that year.
The declaration, payment and determination of the amount of our quarterly distribution will be at the sole discretion of our manager, which may change our cash distribution policy at any time. We cannot assure you that any distributions, whether quarterly or otherwise, will or can be paid. In making decisions regarding our quarterly distribution, our manager will take into account general economic and business conditions, our strategic plans and prospects, our businesses and investment opportunities, our financial condition and operating results, working capital requirements and anticipated cash needs, contractual restrictions and obligations, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions, restrictions and other implications on the payment of distributions by us to our common shareholders or by our subsidiaries to us and such other factors as our manager may deem relevant.
Because we are a holding company that owns intermediate holding companies, the funding of each distribution, if declared, will occur in three steps, as follows.
First, we will cause one or more entities in the Apollo Operating Group to make a distribution to all of its partners, including our wholly-owned subsidiaries APO Corp., APO Asset Co., LLC, APO (FC), LLC and APO (FC II), LLC (as applicable), and Holdings, on a pro rata basis;
Second, we will cause our intermediate holding companies, APO Corp., APO Asset Co., LLC, APO (FC), LLC and APO (FC II), LLC (as applicable), to distribute to us, from their net after-tax proceeds, amounts equal to the aggregate distribution we have declared; and
Third, we will distribute the proceeds received by us to our Class A shareholders on a pro rata basis.
Payments that any of our intermediate holding companies make under the tax receivable agreement will reduce amounts that would otherwise be available for distribution by us on our Class A shares. See note 17 to our consolidated financial statements.
Under Delaware law we are prohibited from making a distribution to the extent that our liabilities, after such distribution, exceed the fair value of our assets. Our operating agreement does not contain any restrictions on our ability to make distributions, except that we may only distribute Class A shares to holders of Class A shares. The debt arrangements, as described in note 14 to our consolidated financial statements, do not contain restrictions on our or our subsidiaries' ability to pay distributions; however, instruments governing indebtedness that we or our subsidiaries incur in the future may contain restrictions on our or our subsidiaries' ability to pay distributions or make other cash distributions to equity holders.
In addition, the Apollo Operating Group’s cash flow from operations may be insufficient to enable it to make tax distributions to its partners, in which case the Apollo Operating Group may have to borrow funds or sell assets, and thus our liquidity and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. Furthermore, by paying cash distributions rather than investing that cash in our businesses, we might risk slowing the pace of our growth, or not having a sufficient amount of cash to fund our operations, new investments or unanticipated capital expenditures, should the need arise.
Our cash distribution policy has certain risks and limitations, particularly with respect to liquidity. Although we expect to pay distributions according to our cash distribution policy, we may not pay distributions according to our policy, or at all, if, among other things, we do not have the cash necessary to pay the intended distributions.
As of December 31, 2014, approximately 22.4 million RSUs granted to Apollo employees (net of forfeited awards) were entitled to distribution equivalents, which are paid in cash.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
See the table under “Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans” set forth in “Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.”
Unregistered Sale of Equity Securities
On October 9, 2014, November 4, 2014 and November 12, 2014, we issued 711,805, 2,319,139 and 2,950 Class A shares, net of taxes, to Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., respectively, for an aggregate purchase price of $16,912,487, $52,435,733 and $69,178, respectively. The issuances were exempt from registration under the Securities Act in accordance with Section 4(a)(2) and Rule 506(b) thereof, as transactions by the issuer not involving a public offering. We determined that the purchaser of Class A shares in the transactions, Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., was an accredited investor.
Class A Shares Repurchases in the Fourth Quarter of 2014
No purchases of our Class A shares were made by us or on our behalf in the fourth quarter of the year ended December 31, 2014.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected historical consolidated and combined financial and other data of Apollo Global Management, LLC should be read together with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the historical financial statements and related notes included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
The selected historical consolidated statements of operations data of Apollo Global Management, LLC for each of the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 and the selected historical consolidated statements of financial condition data as of December 31, 2014 and 2013 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements which are included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
We derived the selected historical consolidated statements of operations data of Apollo Global Management, LLC for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 and the selected consolidated statements of financial condition data as of December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010 from our audited consolidated financial statements which are not included in this report.
Year Ended December 31,
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
Statement of Operations Data
Advisory and transaction fees from affiliates, net
Management fees from affiliates
Carried interest income (loss) from affiliates
Compensation and benefits:
Salary, bonus and benefits
Profit sharing expense
Total Compensation and Benefits
General, administrative and other
Depreciation and amortization
Net gains (losses) from investment activities
Net gains (losses) from investment activities of consolidated variable interest entities
Income from equity method investments
Other income, net
Total Other Income
Income (loss) before income tax provision
Income tax provision
Net Income (Loss)
Net (income) loss attributable to Non-Controlling Interests(1)(2)
Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Apollo Global Management, LLC
Distributions Declared per Class A Share
Net Income (Loss) Available to Class A Share – Basic
Net Income (Loss) Available to Class A Share –Diluted
As of December 31,
Statement of Financial Condition Data
Debt (excluding obligations of consolidated variable interest entities)
Debt obligations of consolidated variable interest entities
Total shareholders’ equity
Total Non-Controlling Interests
Reflects Non-Controlling Interests attributable to AAA, consolidated variable interest entities and the remaining interests held by certain individuals who receive an allocation of income from certain of our credit management companies.
Reflects the Non-Controlling Interests in the net (income) loss of the Apollo Operating Group relating to the AOG Units held by our Managing Partners and Contributing Partners which is calculated by applying the ownership percentage of Holdings in the Apollo Operating Group. Holdings' ownership interest in the Apollo Operating Group was impacted by the Company’s initial public offering in April 2011, issuances of Class A shares in settlement of vested RSUs in each of the periods presented, and exchanges of certain AOG Units. See “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for details of the ownership percentage in Holdings.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with Apollo Global Management, LLC’s consolidated financial statements and the related notes as of December 31, 2014 and 2013 and for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, and 2012. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events may differ significantly from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those included in the section of this report entitled "Item 1A. Risk Factors." The highlights listed below have had significant effects on many items within our consolidated financial statements and affect the comparison of the current period’s activity with those of prior periods.
Founded in 1990, Apollo is a leading global alternative investment manager. We are a contrarian, value-oriented investment manager in private equity, credit and real estate with significant distressed expertise and a flexible mandate in the majority of our funds which enables our funds to invest opportunistically across a company’s capital structure. We raise, invest and manage funds on behalf of some of the world’s most prominent pension, endowment and sovereign wealth funds as well as other institutional and individual investors. Apollo is led by our Managing Partners, Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, who have worked together for more than 24 years and lead a team of 845 employees, including 320 investment professionals, as of December 31, 2014.
Apollo conducts its management and incentive businesses primarily in the United States and substantially all of its revenues are generated domestically. These businesses are conducted through the following three reportable segments:
Private equity—primarily invests in control equity and related debt instruments, convertible securities and distressed debt instruments;
Credit—primarily invests in non-control corporate and structured debt instruments; and
Real estate—primarily invests in real estate equity for the acquisition and recapitalization of real estate assets, portfolios, platforms and operating companies, and real estate debt including first mortgage and mezzanine loans, preferred equity and commercial mortgage backed securities.
These business segments are differentiated based on the varying investment strategies. The performance is measured by management on an unconsolidated basis because management makes operating decisions and assesses the performance of each of Apollo’s business segments based on financial and operating metrics and data that exclude the effects of consolidation of any of the managed funds.
Our financial results vary since carried interest, which generally constitutes a large portion of the income we receive from the funds that we manage, as well as the transaction and advisory fees that we receive, can vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. As a result, we emphasize long-term financial growth and profitability to manage our business.
In addition, the growth in our Fee-Generating AUM during the last year has primarily been in our credit segment. The average management fee rate for these new credit products is at market rates for such products and in certain cases is below our historical rates. Also, due to the complexity of these new product offerings, the Company has incurred and will continue to incur additional costs associated with managing these products. To date, these additional costs have been offset by realized economies of scale and ongoing cost management.
As of December 31, 2014, approximately 96% of our total AUM was in funds with a contractual life at inception of seven years or more, and 45% of our total AUM was considered permanent capital.
As of December 31, 2014, we had total AUM of $159.8 billion across all of our businesses. On December 31, 2013, Fund VIII held a final closing raising a total of $17.5 billion in third-party capital and approximately $880 million of additional
capital from Apollo and affiliated investors, and as of December 31, 2014, Fund VIII had $16.8 billion of uncalled commitments remaining. Additionally, Fund VII held a final closing in December 2008, raising a total of $14.7 billion, and as of December 31, 2014, Fund VII had $3.2 billion of uncalled commitments remaining. We have consistently produced attractive long-term investment returns in our traditional private equity funds, generating a 39% gross IRR and a 25% net IRR on a compound annual basis from inception through December 31, 2014. For further detail related to fund performance metrics across all of our businesses, see “—The Historical Investment Performance of Our Funds.”
Holding Company Structure
The diagram below depicts our current organizational structure:
Note: The organizational structure chart above depicts a simplified version of the Apollo structure. It does not include all legal entities in the structure. Ownership percentages are as of the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The Strategic Investors hold 26.79% of the Class A shares outstanding and 11.53% of the economic interests in the Apollo Operating Group. The Class A shares held by investors other than the Strategic Investors represent 35.59% of the total voting power of our shares entitled to vote and 31.51% of the economic interests in the Apollo Operating Group. Class A shares held by the Strategic Investors do not have voting rights. However, such Class A shares will become entitled to vote upon transfers by a Strategic Investor in accordance with the agreements entered into in connection with the investments made by the Strategic Investors.
Our Managing Partners own BRH Holdings GP, Ltd., which in turn holds our only outstanding Class B share. The Class B share represents 64.41% of the total voting power of our shares entitled to vote but no economic interest in Apollo Global Management, LLC. Our Managing Partners’ economic interests are instead represented by their indirect beneficial ownership, through Holdings, of 50.48% of the limited partner interests in the Apollo Operating Group.
Through BRH Holdings, L.P., our Managing Partners indirectly beneficially own through estate planning vehicles, limited partner interests in Holdings.
Holdings owns 56.99% of the limited partner interests in each Apollo Operating Group entity ("AOG Units"). The AOG Units held by Holdings are exchangeable for Class A shares. Our Managing Partners, through their interests in BRH and Holdings, beneficially own 50.48% of the AOG Units. Our Contributing Partners, through their ownership interests in Holdings, beneficially own 6.51% of the AOG Units.
BRH Holdings GP, Ltd. is the sole member of AGM Management, LLC, our manager. The management of Apollo Global Management, LLC is vested in our manager as provided in our operating agreement.
Represents 43.01% of the limited partner interests in each Apollo Operating Group entity, held through intermediate holding companies. Apollo Global Management, LLC, also indirectly owns 100% of the general partner interests in each Apollo Operating Group entity.
Each of the Apollo Operating Group partnerships holds interests in different businesses or entities organized in different jurisdictions.
Our structure is designed to accomplish a number of objectives, the most important of which are as follows:
We are a holding company that is qualified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Our intermediate holding companies enable us to maintain our partnership status and to meet the qualifying income exception.
We have historically used multiple management companies to segregate operations for business, financial and other reasons. Going forward, we may increase or decrease the number of our management companies or partnerships within the Apollo Operating Group based on our views regarding the appropriate balance between (a) administrative convenience and (b) continued business, financial, tax and other optimization.
As a global investment manager, we are affected by numerous factors, including the condition of financial markets and the economy. Price fluctuations within equity, credit, commodity, foreign exchange markets, as well as interest rates, which may be volatile and mixed across geographies, can significantly impact the valuation of our funds' portfolio companies and related income we may recognize. In terms of equity markets, in the U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2014, bringing the full year appreciation to 11.4%. Outside the U.S., global equity markets depreciated in the fourth quarter of 2014. The MSCI All Country World ex USA Index was down 4.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014, bringing the full year depreciation to 6.3%. Importantly, we believe that the generally positive momentum in the U.S. equity markets is conducive for continued equity capital markets activity, including IPOs and secondary offerings of the portfolio companies within our funds.
Conditions in the credit markets also have a significant impact on our business. Credit indices declined in the fourth quarter of 2014, with the BofAML HY Master II Index down 1.1% and the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index down 0.5%. For the full year, however, the BofAML HY Master II Index was up 2.5% and the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index was up 1.6%. Benchmark interest rates continued the year's bearish descent in the fourth quarter. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield finished the quarter down 35 basis points and the year down more than 85 basis points from its starting point to 2.2%. Commodities generally saw price declines for the full year after a particularly weak fourth quarter that was driven by depreciation in oil. The price of crude oil declined approximately 42% during the fourth quarter and 46% for the full year primarily due to oversupply dynamics.
In terms of economic conditions in the U.S., the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to increasing consumer spending, despite decreasing government spending, slowing exports, and slowing business investment. For the full year 2014, the BEA reported that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.4%. As of January 2015, The International Monetary Fund estimated that the U.S. economy will expand by 3.6% in 2015. Additionally, the U.S. unemployment rate continued to decline and stood at 5.6% as of December 31, 2014, compared to 5.9% as of September 30, 2014, making it the lowest level since July 2008.
Amid the generally favorable backdrop of elevated asset prices and positive equity market momentum, Apollo continued to generate realizations for fund investors. Apollo returned $5.7 billion and $16.4 billion of capital and realized gains to the limited partners of the funds it manages during the fourth quarter of 2014 and full year ended December 31, 2014, respectively. In general, institutional investors continue to allocate capital towards alternative investment managers for more attractive risk-adjusted returns in a low interest rate environment. Apollo reported $1.0 billion and $9.9 billion of new capital raised during the fourth quarter of 2014 and full year ended December 31, 2014, respectively.
Regardless of the market or economic environment at any given time, Apollo relies on its contrarian, value-oriented approach to consistently invest capital on behalf of its fund investors by focusing on opportunities that management believes are often overlooked by other investors. Apollo reported $2.8 billion and $10.0 billion of dollars invested during the fourth quarter of 2014 and full year ended December 31, 2014, respectively. We believe Apollo’s expertise in credit and its focus on nine core industry sectors, combined with more than 20 years of investment experience, has allowed Apollo to respond quickly to changing environments. Apollo’s core industry sectors include chemicals, natural resources, consumer and retail, distribution and transportation, financial and business services, manufacturing and industrial, media and cable and leisure, packaging and materials and the satellite and wireless industries. Apollo believes that these attributes have contributed to the success of its private equity funds investing in buyouts and credit opportunities during both expansionary and recessionary economic periods.
Managing Business Performance
We believe that the presentation of Economic Net Income (Loss) supplements a reader’s understanding of the economic operating performance of each of our segments.
Economic Net Income (Loss)
Economic Net Income, or ENI, is a key performance measure used by management in evaluating the performance of Apollo’s private equity, credit and real estate segments. Management also believes the components of ENI such as the amount of management fees, advisory and transaction fees and carried interest income are indicative of Apollo’s performance. Management uses these performance measures in making key operating decisions such as the following:
Decisions related to the allocation of resources such as staffing decisions including hiring and locations for deployment of the new hires;
Decisions related to capital deployment such as providing capital to facilitate growth for the business and/or to facilitate expansion into new businesses; and
Decisions related to expenses, such as determining annual discretionary bonuses and equity-based compensation awards to our employees. With respect to compensation, management seeks to align the interests of certain professionals and selected other individuals with those of the investors in the funds and those of Apollo's shareholders by providing such individuals a profit sharing interest in the carried interest income earned in relation to the funds. To achieve that objective, a certain amount of compensation is based on Apollo's performance and growth for the year.
ENI has certain limitations in that it does not take into account certain items included under U.S. GAAP. ENI represents segment income (loss) attributable to Apollo Global Management, LLC, which excludes the impact of (i) non-cash charges related to restricted share units ("RSUs") granted in connection with the 2007 private placement and amortization of AOG Units, (ii) income tax expense, (iii) amortization of intangibles associated with the 2007 Reorganization as well as acquisitions, (iv) Non-Controlling Interests (excluding the remaining interest held by certain individuals who receive an allocation of income from certain of our credit management companies) and (v) non-cash revenue and expense related to equity awards granted by unconsolidated affiliates to employees of the Company. In addition, segment data excludes the assets, liabilities and operating results of the funds and VIEs that are included in the consolidated financial statements as such carried interest income, management fees and other revenues from these consolidated entities are reflected on an unconsolidated basis. Adjustments relating to income tax expense, intangible asset amortization and Non-Controlling Interests are common in the calculation of supplemental measures of performance in our industry. We believe the exclusion of the non-cash charges related to the 2007 Reorganization for equity-based compensation provides investors with a meaningful indication of our performance because these charges relate to the equity portion of our capital structure and not our core operating performance.
We believe that ENI is helpful for an understanding of our business and that investors should review the same supplemental financial measure that management uses to analyze our segment performance. This measure supplements and should be considered in addition to and not in lieu of the results of operations discussed below in "—Overview of Results of Operations" that have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
ENI may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies and is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We use ENI as a measure of operating performance, not as a measure of liquidity. ENI should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for operating income, net income, operating cash flows, investing and financing activities, or other income or cash flow statement data prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The use of ENI without consideration of related U.S. GAAP measures is not adequate due to the adjustments described above. Management compensates for these limitations by using ENI as a supplemental measure to U.S. GAAP results, to provide a more complete understanding of our performance as management measures it. A reconciliation of ENI to our U.S. GAAP net income (loss) attributable to Apollo Global Management, LLC can be found in the notes to our consolidated financial statements.
We monitor certain operating metrics that are common to the alternative investment management industry. These operating metrics include Assets Under Management, private equity dollars invested and uncalled private equity commitments.
Assets Under Management
Assets Under Management, or AUM, refers to the assets we manage for the funds, partnerships and accounts to which we provide investment management services, including, without limitation, capital that such funds, partnerships and accounts have the right to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments. Our AUM equals the sum of:
the fair value of the investments of the private equity funds, partnerships and accounts we manage plus the capital which such funds, partnerships and accounts are entitled to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments;
the net asset value ("NAV") of the credit funds, partnerships and accounts for which we provide investment management services, other than certain CLOs and CDOs, which have a fee generating basis other than the mark-to-market value of the underlying assets, plus used or available leverage and/or capital which such funds, partnerships and accounts are entitled to call from investors pursuant to capital commitments;
the gross asset value or net asset value of the real estate funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, and the structured portfolio company investments of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, which includes the leverage used by such structured portfolio company investments;
the incremental value associated with the reinsurance investments of the portfolio company assets we manage; and
the fair value of any other assets that we manage for the funds, partnerships and accounts to which we provide investment management services, plus unused credit facilities, including capital commitments to such funds, partnerships and accounts for investments that may require pre-qualification before investment plus any other capital commitments to such funds, partnerships and accounts available for investment that are not otherwise included in the clauses above.
Our AUM measure includes Assets Under Management for which we charge either no or nominal fees. Our definition of AUM is not based on any definition of Assets Under Management contained in our operating agreement or in any of our Apollo fund management agreements. We consider multiple factors for determining what should be included in our definition of AUM. Such factors include but are not limited to (1) our ability to influence the investment decisions for existing and available assets; (2) our ability to generate income from the underlying assets in our funds; and (3) the AUM measures that we believe are used by other investment managers. Given the differences in the investment strategies and structures among other alternative investment managers, our calculation of AUM may differ from the calculations employed by other investment managers and, as a result, this measure may not be directly comparable to similar measures presented by other investment managers.
We use AUM as a performance measure of our investment activities, as well as to monitor fund size in relation to professional resource and infrastructure needs.
Assets Under Management—Fee-Generating/Non-Fee Generating
Fee-Generating AUM consists of assets we manage for the funds, partnerships and accounts to which we provide investment management services and on which we earn management fees or monitoring fees pursuant to management or other fee agreements on a basis that varies among the Apollo funds, partnerships and accounts we manage. Management fees are normally based on “net asset value,” “gross assets,” “adjusted par asset value,” “adjusted cost of all unrealized portfolio investments,” “capital commitments,” “adjusted assets,” “stockholders’ equity,” “invested capital” or “capital contributions,” each as defined in the applicable management agreement. Monitoring fees, also referred to as advisory fees, with respect to the investments of the funds, partnerships and accounts we manage, are generally based on the total value of such structured portfolio company investments, which normally includes leverage, less any portion of such total value that is already considered in Fee-Generating AUM.
Non-Fee Generating AUM consists of assets that do not produce management fees or monitoring fees. These assets generally consist of the following: (a) fair value above invested capital for those funds that earn management fees based on invested capital, (b) net asset values related to general partner and co-investment ownership, (c) unused credit facilities, (d) available commitments on those funds that generate management fees on invested capital, (e) structured portfolio company investments that do not generate monitoring fees and (f) the difference between gross asset and net asset value for those funds that earn management fees based on net asset value.
Carry Eligible AUM refers to the AUM that may eventually produce carried interest income. All funds for which we are entitled to receive a carried interest income allocation are included in Carry Eligible AUM, which consists of the following:
Carry Generating AUM, which refers to funds' invested capital that is currently above its hurdle rate or preferred return, and the funds' profit is allocated to the general partner in accordance with the applicable limited partnership agreements or other governing agreements;
AUM Not Currently Generating Carry, which refers to funds' invested capital that is currently below its hurdle rate or preferred return; and
Uninvested Carry Eligible AUM, which refers to available capital for investment or reinvestment subject to the provisions of applicable limited partnership agreements or other governing agreements that are not currently part of the NAV or fair value of investments that may eventually produce carried interest income, which would be allocated to the general partner.
AUM with Future Management Fee Potential refers to the committed uninvested capital portion of total AUM not currently earning management fees. The amount depends on the specific terms and conditions of each fund.
We use Non-Fee Generating AUM combined with Fee-Generating AUM as a performance measure of our funds' investment activities, as well as to monitor fund size in relation to professional resource and infrastructure needs. Non-Fee Generating AUM includes assets on which we could earn carried interest income.
The table below presents Fee-Generating and Non-Fee Generating AUM by segment as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012. Changes in market conditions and additional funds raised have had significant impacts to Apollo's AUM:
Total Assets Under Management
As of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, includes $0.8 billion, $1.1 billion and $2.3 billion of commitments, respectively, that have yet to be deployed to an Apollo fund within Apollo's three segments.
Includes Fee-Generating and Non-Fee Generating AUM as of September 30, 2012 for certain publicly traded vehicles managed by Apollo.
The table below sets forth AUM with Future Management Fee Potential for each of Apollo's three segments, which is a component of Non-Fee Generating AUM, as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012.
Total AUM with Future Management Fee Potential
As of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, includes $0.8 billion, $1.1 billion and $2.3 billion of commitments, respectively, that have yet to be deployed to an Apollo fund within Apollo's three segments.
The following table presents Carry Eligible AUM and Carry Generating AUM for each of Apollo's three segments as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012:
Carry Eligible AUM
Carry Generating AUM
As of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, Carry Eligible AUM includes $0.8 billion, $1.1 billion and $2.3 billion of commitments, respectively, that have yet to be deployed to an Apollo fund within Apollo's three segments.
As of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, Carry Eligible AUM includes $28.8 billion, $28.7 billion and $16.5 billion of Uninvested Carry Eligible AUM, respectively, and $17.7 billion, $5.8 billion and $7.7 billion of AUM Not Currently Generating Carry, respectively.
The components of Fee-Generating AUM by segment as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 are presented below:
December 31, 2014
Fee-Generating AUM based on capital commitments
Fee-Generating AUM based on invested capital
Fee-Generating AUM based on gross/adjusted assets
Fee-Generating AUM based on leverage
Fee-Generating AUM based on NAV
Total Fee-Generating AUM