Bain Capital Credit is the latest middle-market lender to report deployments over the past year, and the figures continue to be robust. “Our strong deal pipeline enabled us to remain active in identifying compelling new opportunities,” said global head of the private credit group Michael Ewald.

That pipeline could spell more opportunities in the middle market. Bain remains focused on its sweet spot: companies with $25 million to $75 million in earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortization that “have a business that’s niche enough it won’t ebb and flow,” Ewald told us late last year. “These are more nimble. They can expand geographically. They might be family-owned and have customer concentration issues. Those are the issues in that market” that Bain’s liquidity can help solve.

The firm’s private credit group invested $2.7 billion over 100 portfolio companies over the past year, and closed $2 billion in new capital. Bain isn’t alone. Just last week, KKR announced it had participated in five unitranche deals weighing in at $1+ billion underscoring the depth of direct lending opportunities.

There’s plenty of reason for optimism that credit markets remain open to dealmakers. Leveraged loan prices are soaring as investors seek returns in an inflationary environment, a boon to lenders. And fund specialization, for another reason, has left at least some lenders in the same position as ever: able to tailor structured credit solutions to borrowers’ needs.

Private credit’s rise appears to be here to stay.

Brandon Zero