SOURCE: The M & A Advisor

The M & A Advisor

September 23, 2009 10:00 ET

The M&A Advisor Announces Recipients of the Fourth Annual U.S. Middle-Market Financing Awards

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 23, 2009) - The M&A Advisor today announced the recipients of the fourth annual U.S. Middle-Market Financing Awards. Award recipients were selected from three categories by an independent panel of judges representing a cross-section of the M&A industry.

Law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP led the competition, receiving three awards:

--  Media, Entertainment or Telecom Deal of the Year (Media Rights
    Capital's $350 million credit facility),
--  Energy Deal of the Year (El Paso Pipeline Partners' acquisition of
    assets from El Paso Corporation), and
--  Financial Services Deal of the Year (acquisition of First Southwest
    Company by Plains Capital Corporation).
    

Founded in 1945, the firm has more than 800 lawyers in 13 offices. Nine offices are based in the U.S. while the other four Akin Gump international locations include London, Moscow, Abu Dhabi and Beijing.

Citi Capital Strategies captured Middle-Market M&A Financing Deal of the Year (leveraged recapitalization of Brook & Whittle, LTD) and Fifth Street Capital won the Debt Financing Agent of the Year. The Capital Strategies Group is an investment-banking group of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Fifth Street Finance Corp. is a bi-coastal specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies in connection with an investment by private equity sponsors.

"In these tough economic times we should applaud firms that have stepped up to the plate to make important middle-market deals possible," said Roger Aguinaldo, CEO of The M&A Advisor. "All middle-market financing award recipients -- both multi-national boutique-sized -- are true industry leaders and it is our honor to recognize them."

This year there were a total of 51 finalists for the industry's fourth annual U.S. Middle-Market Financing Awards.

Finalists were divided into the following categories:

--  Major Deals
--  Sector Deals
--  Agents/Firms/Products
    

Transactions had to close between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009 and have a transaction value of between $10 million and $1 billion.

The judges invited to jury this round of awards from The M&A Advisor are experienced industry professionals, including financial professionals, academics, consultants and service providers. Judges are volunteers and are not past or present employees of, or consultants to, The M&A Advisor. Also, they had no financial or business affiliation with the organization.

Judging is based on several criteria, including quantitative factors such as transaction value, impact on shareholder/company value and market share. Qualitative considerations include impact of transaction on the market/industry, ingenuity in structuring and/or negotiations, diligence and perseverance in consummating the deal and other unique attributes.

To view the list of winners in each category, please visit www.maadvisor.com.

THE M&A ADVISOR

Since 1998, The M&A Advisor has been credited with being the preeminent organization facilitating connections and recognizing achievement in the top performers of the M&A, turnaround and financing industries through its leading events and awards galas, M&A Alerts newsletter and online community. For more information, go to www.maadvisor.com.

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