The Carlyle Group has become the year’s leading acquiror, according to new data sent over this morning by Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). Seems the $3.9 billion agreement to acquire nutritional supplement manufacturer NBTY Inc. put the Washington D.C.-based buyout firm over the top, with $6.9 billion worth of 2010 deals. TPG Capital ranks second with $6 billion.
Overall, Thomson Reuters reports that there have been 485 PE-backed acquisitions of U.S. companies so far this year, valued at $46.8 billion. That’s a 3x increase over the same period in 2009, when credit was still very tough to come by. The top 2010 industry has been healthcare — aided by the NTBY deal — which makes up 17% of total buyside financial sponsor activity.