The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Exclusive Interview" series. In this segment, Fool.com analyst Brendan Byrnes interviews author and Bloomberg reporter Jason Kelly about his recent book, The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything.

Despite being a relatively new industry, private equity firms have managed to become a large part of our society, often buying beaten-down but incredibly well-known brands, including Dollar General and Dunkin' Brands. Private equity purchased these companies, took them private, and then eventually went through the IPO process again and cashed them out as public companies. But what would have happened to a company like Dollar General if these private equity firms didn't exist? Jason explains in the following video.

Brendan Byrnes and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.