In a year during which many lenders performed well, Madison Capital Funding LLC took its business to a new level in 2012, expanding its managed-account offerings, increasing its hold size and attracting a valuable new partner in Apollo Investment Corp. (Nasdaq: AINV). The combination of Madison's balance sheet and its increased hold size allows it to work on transactions with fewer other lenders.

Several other middle-market lenders had great years in 2012, experiencing growth, expansion and recapitalization. GE Capital, the biggest middle-market lender, completed 275 deals worth $17.87 billion for a 20 percent increase over its 2011 transaction level. Fifth Street Finance Corp. (Nasdaq: FSC) closed $422 million in investments in the fourth quarter, with 41 new platform investments and $915 million in investments for the year. Ares Capital Corp. (Nasdaq: ARCC) closed about $3.2 billion in deals during the first nine months of 2012.

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