They left us mostly alone, and most things actually turned to the better. Maybe not having to answer to thousands of shareholders gave management the possibility to implement some needed changes. One example was a new salary/bonus/retirement structure giving a huge boost to most of us. So YMMV.
In this economic climate and especially outside of the US, PE gives you a lot of the benefits of going public without the extra scrutiny and reporting. I've seen several established companies in my industry forgo going public and unlock liquidity via private equity or sovereign wealth funds.