Six mega-deals, all with values of at least $25 billion, led the way. The biggest one closed in October when Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners completed the privatization of electric utility TXU Corp. for $44.3 billion. Another of the biggest closed in February when Blackstone Group completed a deal to take Equity Office Properties Trust private for $39 billion. (Please note that our $454.3 billion figure, slightly less than the year-to-date tally reported in our Dec. 17 edition on page 3, reflects a year-end scrub of our database.)

On the fundraising front, U.S.-based buyout and mezzanine funds raised $281.7 billion in 2007, a significant jump from the $197.6 billion tally reported a year earlier. Fundraising kept a fairly steady pace throughout the year, roughly $70 billion per quarter, despite the credit crunch that began this summer. Among the biggest funds behind last year’s performance was the $20 billion Goldman Sachs Capital Partners VI that closed in April and the $10.1 billion close of Thomas H. Lee Partners Fund VI in November.