Guthrie Gaga at Garnett & Helfrich

Mike Guthrie admits that the buyouts business does better when the economy is in a slump because there are more deals to be had. But he’s still excited about his new gig.

Late last month, the 39-year-old Guthrie announced he had joined Garnett & Helfrich Capital as a director. In that position, Guthrie will use his experience in early stage technology deals and buyouts to make investments in Garnett & Helfrich Capital’s newly formed Venture Buyout Fund.

“Silicon Valley has been down on its back for awhile, but technology is back and deals are picking up. It’s exciting,” Guthrie says.

Garnett & Helfrich was formed by former venture capitalists Terry Garnett and David Helfrich, who teamed up last year to launch the tech-oriented buyout firm. In April, the firm closed its inaugural fund with $250 million (see PE Week, May 3, 2004).

Guthrie – who was a co-founder and general partner of TPG Ventures, the venture capital arm of buyout firm Texas Pacific Group – says he first met Helfrich, previously a general partner with ComVentures, at a dinner party last summer. “We’ve gotten to know each other, and without a doubt, there’s a cultural fit in how we work together,” Guthrie says

Prior to co-founding TPG Ventures, Guthrie spent 10 years in banking, most recently at Credit Suisse First Boston. He currently sits on the board of Silicon Light Machines, a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor.