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.

With European private equity firm Permira agreeing to buy Ancestry.com, and Staples and SUPERVALU having been rumored as possible P/E targets as well, the question arises: What do private equity firms look for in companies? In the following video, Jason explains what these P/E firms find attractive about certain companies, and how they can use these characteristics to their advantage.

Brendan Byrnes has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ancestry.com, Staples, and SUPERVALU. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Ancestry.com, Staples, and SUPERVALU. 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.