Erin Griffith lists 49 PE deals that went Chapter 11 in 2008, up from just two in 2007. Wow! But, not one technology deal made the list. (Wow again?) Leveraged buyouts in the technology sector are not new, as firms like Welsh Carson, TA Associates, GA and Warburg Pincus have been at it for over 25 years. But when the tech bubble burst and the IPO market became terminally ill back in 2000, these old-line firms were joined by a rush of overfed VCs (Battery, NorthBridge, Insight), generalist buyout shops and several new tech-focused PE firms – all of whom went on a remarkable fund-raising and shopping spree. The new breed of tech-focused PE firms were lead by names like Silver Lake, Francisco, Golden Gate, Vista and Vector. Many of these firms were built on tech banking talent that spent the 1990’s taking companies public. With the public markets dominated by hedge funds, day traders and regulators – these PE firms focused taking their old banking clients private. Like all LBO activity – the velocity and amplitude to tech buyout deals were dramatically enhanced by free credit and peaked in Q2 of 2007, when Kronos was taken private by Hellman and JMI for $1.8b, or 17x EBITDA.