Co-CEOs of CPPIB’s Antares Capital named 2015’s top deal-makers

David Brackett and John Martin, Co-CEOs of Antares Capital, have been named “Dealmakers of the Year” in the ninth annual M&A Mid-Market Awards of Mergers & Acquisitions. Antares, the largest provider of U.S. mid-market loans, was acquired by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for US$12 billion last August. Brackett and Martin, who have led the firm for the past two decades, were honoured for their role in steering Antares through the process, continuing “prolific lending”, and closing the deal with CPPIB.


Mergers & Acquisitions Announces 2015 Mid-Market Award Winners

David Brackett and John Martin, Co-CEOs of Antares Capital, Honored as Dealmakers of the Year; Amazon Garners Deal of the Year; Audax Named Private Equity Firm of the Year

The winners embodied the trends dominating today’s dealmaking, including cloud computing and innovative financing.

Mergers & Acquisitions, the leading resource for middle-market dealmakers, has announced the winners of its ninth annual M&A Mid-Market Awards. The awards recognize the most notable dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions valued at less than $1 billion. David Brackett and John Martin, co-CEOs of Antares Capital, scored Dealmakers of the Year, and Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), owned by Amazon Inc., brought home Deal of the Year. Complete coverage of the winners is available online at and in the April issue of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine.

The 2015 honorees, chosen by the editors of Mergers & Acquisitions, “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 Co. 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 (CPPIB).

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

Mergers & Acquisitions also recognized the following firms:

Audax Private Equity won Private Equity Firm of the Year. The firm enjoyed a record year, raising its fifth fund, closing 100-plus investments and selling more portfolio companies than competitors.

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. received Investment Bank of the Year. The capital markets group increased its private-equity business significantly.

The Riverside Co. was named Seller of the Year for the second year in a row. The PE firm continues the momentum in exits it began the previous year, making it one of the most prolific sellers of companies in the middle market.

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. scored Strategic Buyer of the Year. The company wielded M&A in 2015 to continue fine-tuning its product mix, picking up 65-year-old Elmer’s Products Inc. for $600 million and agreeing to buy the owner of Yankee Candle.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy won Law Firm of the Year. The global firm grew its M&A practice, hiring more deal attorneys and advising on some innovative transactions, especially in the aviation business.

NewStar Financial was named Lender of the Year. The lender enjoyed unprecedented growth for the firm, increased assets under management, solidified its relationship with GSO Capital Partners and purchased a smaller competitor.

About the M&A Mid-Market Awards
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. Special consideration is given to such factors as performance, growth, innovation and thought leadership. Past winners include Amgen, Covidien, eBay, Fifth Street Management, GE Capital, GTCR, Harris Williams, HGGC, Hormel Foods, Jones Day, K&L Gates, Latham & Watkins, Lincoln International, Madison Capital, PPG Industries, Piper Jaffray & Co., Sullivan & Cromwell, Starbucks, Vector Capital, William Blair and Yahoo.

About Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers & Acquisitions covers all aspects of middle-market dealmaking, including identifying acquisition targets, negotiating transactions, performing due diligence, and closing deals. With more than 40,000 unique monthly visitors, the brand’s website at is continuously updated, providing real-time information and analysis of news and trends in M&A. Its monthly magazine, which serves 20,000 subscribers, is published in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), a global organization comprised of thousands of private equity firms, corporate officials and intermediaries. Mergers & Acquisitions’ online video series features interviews with high-profile dealmakers, including private equity partners, strategic buyers, investment bankers and other advisers.

About SourceMedia
SourceMedia, an Observer Capital company, is a diversified business-to-business digital media company serving senior professionals in the financial, technology, and healthcare sectors. Brands include American Banker, The Bond Buyer, Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Planning, On Wall Street, Accounting Today, Health Data Management, and Employee Benefit News.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock