David Brackett and John Martin, co-CEOs of Antares Capital, were named Dealmakers of the Year, and Amazon Web Services brought home the Deal of the Year Award at the ninth annual Mergers & Acquisitions awards.

Mergers & Acquisitions, the leading resource for middle-market dealmakers, annually recognizes the most notable dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions valued at less than $1 billion.

The 2015 honorees, chosen by the magazine’s editors, “outpaced the competition, expanded their businesses and closed hundreds of deals, even as overall dealmaking activity in the middle market declined,” said editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn. “The winners embodied the trends dominating today’s dealmaking, including cloud computing and innovative financing.”

Brackett and Martin spent 20 years nurturing Antares Capital to become the largest lender in the middle market. When General Electric announced it would divest a wide range of non-core assets, Antares quickly became a coveted acquisition target, attracting many suitors. The co-CEOs steered Antares through the process, continuing prolific lending and accepting ultimately a $12 billion offer from Canada’s largest pension fund, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Amazon Web Services, a leader in cloud-computing infrastructure, began ramping up M&A in 2015 with the pivotal $500 million purchase of video technology company Elemental Technologies.

Mergers & Acquisitions also recognized the following firms:

  • Audax Private Equity, Private Equity Firm of the Year
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets, Investment Bank of the Year
  • The Riverside Company, was Seller of the Year for the second year in a row
  • Newell Rubbermaid, Strategic Buyer of the Year
  • Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Law Firm of the Year
  • NewStar Financial, named Lender of the Year


To be eligible for Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Awards, deals must have closed during the previous year, involved a U.S.-based company as either buyer or seller and be valued at or below roughly $1 billion. Nominations are encouraged, but not required.

Complete coverage of the winners is available at TheMiddleMarket.com and in the April issue of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine.