The big picture answer is that they are not particularly popular nowadays for a number of reasons, not least of which is that debt funding at the moment isn’t easy to come by. Given all the turmoil in the financial system over the last couple of years banks are much more risk averse than they used to be.
The 1980s was the heyday in terms of LBOs and a good book to read is “Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco”. It’s a well written book which tells the story of the $25 billion battle for RJR Nabisco. Although the event took place over 20 years ago it’s a great read which explains in a very reader friendly way the issues behind LBOs.
The book is one of the best read business books of all time and if I’m honest, when I read it it felt more like a thriller than a real life account of corporate America in the 1980s. All in all, a book that I would highly recommend.
Of course, if you’re studying for your exams then you may not have a lot of spare time for reading but you can always read it after you qualify!