Buyouts is now accepting nominations for its fourth annual Deals of the Year Awards, which honor LBO firms and other participants for exceptional majority stake transactions. Winners will be selected in 12 categories (listed below), with results published in our March 1 and March 15 issues. Awards will be physically presented at the Buyouts Symposium (www.buyouts-symposium.com) on March 4 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. What deals qualify? There are two basic qualifications. 1. The deal must be a majority stake purchase that involves full or partial private equity sponsorship and results in the target company remaining private or going private. (Thus, transactions such as PIPEs and the merger of two public companies will not be considered.) 2. The deal must have been completed in 2003. A deal that is expected to close by the end of 2003 may also be considered, but if it fails to close by Dec. 31 it will not be eligible. From a geographic perspective, there are no boundaries, which means even a foreign LBO of a foreign company is eligible for consideration. There is also no minimum deal size, but it?s unlikely we would strongly consider a deal that?s under $10 million and/or looks like an early-stage venture capital transaction. What types of transactions generally win? Who actually wins the awards? We look for deals that were innovative, timely and overcame obstacles. We?ll also look at how the deal emerged, its financing structure and?of course?how well the deal was executed. Most of our winning deals have a good story behind them. That said, we are not biased toward transactions we?ve written about. The equity sponsor(s) is the primary recipient in all categories excluding Lender of the Year. The Deal of the Year award will also recognize the lender/finance provider and possibly the investment bank, law firm and accounting firm depending on their respective levels of involvement. What exactly should I submit? Submissions for awards must include a cover sheet summarizing the nomination, with items including purchase price, target, date completed, all parties involved (other sponsors, law firms, accounting firms, investment banks, etc.) as well as any relevant backup documentation, including press clippings, etc. Those up for nomination should be prepared to discuss all aspects of the deal and share any interesting anecdotes related to the transaction. In short, the more forthcoming you are the more likely your deal will be considered. Deals can be submitted for as many categories as you prefer. Also, there is no penalty for nominating multiple deals for one category. SUBMISSIONS must be received by Friday, Dec. 5, via email to Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Danielle Fugazy, c/o Buyouts Newsletter – Awards, 195 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY, 10007 . Please refrain from calling with individual pitches, as we are already getting deluged by submissions. The categories for submissions are: Small Deal of the Year: Recognizing deals of as much as $200 million. Middle Market Deal of the Year: Recognizing deals from $200 million to $600 million. Large Market Deal of the Year: Recognizing deals of $600 million and higher. European Deal of the Year: Must involve a European target. Emerging Market Deal of the Year: Must involve a target from an emerging market, a term which we define liberally to include non-investment-grade countries as well as others whose LBO markets are still nascent. Public-to-Private Deal of the Year: Self-explanatory. Turnaround of the Year: Broadly defined as a situation where the LBO sponsor acquired a depressed or struggling company and made significant, identifiable improvements. The fruits of that labor must have been evidenced in 2003, through increased revenue, an exit, or some other method. Exit of the Year: Returns are obviously a major consideration here, but we?ll also be examining timing, execution, pre-exit preparation and other factors. Buyout Firm of the Year: We?ll be looking at every aspect of a firm?s activity in 2003, including LBO transactions, fund raising, exits, personnel moves and portfolio management. Lender of the Year: This award will recognize the lender that best served the buyout market. While loan volume will be an obvious consideration, it will not be the only factor. Buyout Pro of the Year: Similar to the Firm of the Year, we?ll be looking at specific individual?s activity within LBO deals, fund raising and exits. While we recognize that many LBO firms present themselves as a team of equals, please do NOT submit entire teams as one submission. Deal of the Year: This will be given to the single deal that stands out for its innovation and execution. The winner may come from any area of the deal spectrum, be it $50 million or $3 billion in value. Nominations for this award should emphasize deal uniqueness and innovation. Please feel free to contact Editor Danielle Fugazy (Danielle.email@example.com) or News Editor Kenneth MacFadyen (Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.