Buyouts are usually discussed as being distinct from M&A - more usually thought to be corporate merger and acquisitions - although of course they're just another flavour of acquisition transaction. Barclays Private Equity and the Centre for Management Buyout Research have recently published their review of activity in Q1 of 2011. Lots of stats but interestingly on the one had management buy-out volumes are at historic lows and at the same time MBOs rose to account for a greater proportion of M&A activity in a flat market.
Within the MBO market the smaller deals - which they classify as below £10M have suffered the biggest downturn with just 269 deals at a value of £508M completed in 2010 compared to only 75 deal;s at a value of £137M in the first quarter of this year. Not surprising given that the lack of bank liquidity for deals is most pronounced at that end of the market.
Despite that the overall prognosis is marginally positive - some signs of recovery in volumes and just as importantly in the UK exit market. Given the recent Eurozone problems, and that of the US economy I can imagine that the Q2 report when published will be even less bullish (if possible).