Private equity-backed buyout deals totaled $53.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017, according to data prepared by Preqin. There were 970 deals during the quarter, down from 1,058 in the previous quarter. The first quarter typically sees less deal activity than the rest of the year. Since 2012, there have been on average 916 deals in the first quarter and an average 1,009 deals in each of the following three quarters.
Among the notable deals since the start of the year were Blackstone Group's buyout of Aon's employee benefits outsourcing unit for $4.8 billion, and Vista Equity Partners' buyout of financial service provider DH Corp.