Much of the overall increase in regional PE activity is thanks to the B2B industry, which accounted for 43% of the region's deals since the beginning of 2008. 2012's B2B output (167 deals) more than doubled 2009's (77) and was up a solid 31% from a relatively strong 2010 (127). Information technology companies have also piqued more PE interest in recent years; IT activity rose 45% between 2011 and 2012.
State bragging rights go to Illinois, which was home to almost a third of the Great Lakes deals since 2008. Ohio accounted for 21% and Michigan took 15%. Audax Group inked the most deals in the region, with The Riverside Company not far behind.