The M&A Mid-Market Awards honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market. To determine the winners, Mergers & Acquisitions considers a variety of factors. We look for companies and individuals who overcame the challenges the year brought, embodied the trends of the period and took their businesses to the next level. Market leadership and performance are important, but league tables aren’t everything. Growth counts for a lot, especially when the rate of growth outpaces peers and the overall industry. Innovation also counts. We value companies that changed the M&A landscape, expanded into new territories and transformed their businesses. Thought leadership in the industry is also relevant. Looking at past winners provides a good guide to what we’re seeking (see chart). We bestow M&A Mid-Market Awards in the following eight categories:

Deal recognizes a transformative transaction that made a significant impact on the buyer’s strategy or sector or overall M&A. The award goes to the buyer. Corporations and private equity firms are eligible.

Dealmaker honors an individual who made a significant impact on M&A, or who led a transformative transaction. The award goes to the person who led the deal. All dealmakers are eligible.

Private Equity Firm recognizes a PE firm that stood out in a competitive landscape. We take into account the acquisitions, exits, fundraising and other activities made by the firm throughout the year, including growth. Thought leadership also plays a role. The award goes to the firm, and only PE firms are eligible.

Investment Bank honors a bank that outshone the competition. We take into account the volume of deals advised on, as well as their significance. We also consider the firm’s growth, thought leadership and influence on the M&A industry. The award goes to the bank. Full-service investment banks are eligible.

Seller recognizes a firm that produced stellar exits throughout the year. The award goes to the firm.

Strategic Buyer honors a corporation that wielded M&A to transform or significantly expand its business, or sector or overall M&A. Acquisitions and divestitures emblematic of the company’s M&A strategy are considered. The award goes to the company. Corporations are eligible.

Law Firm of the Year recognizes a law firm that excelled. We take into account the volume of deals advised on, as well as their significance. We also consider the firm’s growth, thought leadership and influence on the M&A industry. The award goes to the firm, and law firms are eligible.

Lender of the Year honors a lender that ran ahead of the pack. We take into account the volume of loans made, as well as their significance. We also consider the firm’s growth, thought leadership and influence on the M&A industry. The award goes to the lender, and lenders are eligible.

To be eligible for our awards, deals must meet the following criteria: be valued at or below $1 billion; involve at least one U.S.-based company as buyer or seller; and have been completed by Dec. 31 of the award year.

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Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn joined SourceMedia in 2011 as the Editor-in-Chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. Flynn oversees all of the brand’s editorial content, including features, charts, survey results, videos and slideshows.