Providing one quarter of all loans made in the middle market, GE Capital ranks as the largest lender in the space. Nevertheless, the lending unit of General Electric (NYSE: GE) did not rest on its laurels in 2014. GE Capital added a new unit and increased the number of loans it made for private-equity platform acquisitions by 55 percent. It also gave borrowers unique access to the resources of its parent company.

"It was a very good market to be selling assets," says Stuart Aronson (pictured), CEO of GE Sponsor Finance at GE Capital. "There is a lot of under-deployed capital in the PE marketplace, so even though prices were high, we saw more customers buying platform companies for the basis of doing add-on acquisitions."

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