Slideshow: The Year’s Most Prolific PE Buyers

The buyout market continued to slowly improve in 2011 as U.S. firms deployed war chests raised in the boom years of last decade and many prepared to raise new funds, sister magazine Buyouts reports in its year-end deal wrap, to be published January 2.

But a sovereign debt crisis in Europe, a downgrade of the U.S.’s credit rating and domestic political battles rattled markets and curbed momentum midway through the year. Banks grew more cautious about financing buyouts and taking their portfolio companies public.

Below is a Top-10 list of the most active buyers in 2011, based on platform deals by U.S.-based sponsors closed as of Dec. 15, according to Thomson Reuters. Some firms may have a different count of their activity. Several firms closed the same number of deals, leading to a tie in some positions. Platforms are considered new acquisitions, which could include standard LBOs, carve-outs, sponsor-to-sponsor deals, and take-privates, but not add-on acquisitions by existing portfolio companies.

Bernard Vaughan is a senior editor at Buyouts Magazine. Follow his tweets @BVaughanReuters. Follow Buyouts tweets @Buyouts.

[slideshow]

[slide title=”10″]

Firms: Alinda Capital Partners LLC, Avista Capital, ICV Partners, Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC, First Reserve Corp, Moelis Capital Partners, New Mountain Capital, Vector Capital, Vista Equity Partners LLC, Wind Point Partners

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 3

[slide title=”9″]

Firms: ABRY Partners LLC, Francisco Partners Management, OpenGate Capital LLC, Pfingsten Partners LLC, Platinum Equity LLC, Symphony Technology Group LLC, TA Associates Inc

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 4

[slide title=”8″]

Firms: Apollo Global Management, Audax Group, Bain Capital LLC

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 5

[slide title=”7″]

Firms: Advent International, GTCR Golder Rauner, Warburg Pincus LLC

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 6

[slide title=”6″]

Firms:Cerberus Capital Management LP, Golden Gate Capital, Gores Group LLC, Sun Capital Partners

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 7

[slide title=”5″]

Firm:Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 8

[slide title=”4″]

Firm: TPG Capital

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 9

[slide title=”3″]

Firms: Blackstone Group, HIG Capital

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 16

[slide title=”2″]

Firm: Carlyle Group

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 19

[slide title=”1″]

Firm: Riverside Co.

Platform Acquisitions Closed in 2011, as of Dec. 15: 20

[/slideshow]