3i Group has invested $30 million to support a management buyout of John Hardy Group, a Hong Kong-based maker of high-end designer jewelry and lifestyle accessories. 3i will receive a minority ownership position.

Advent International has purchased Grupo Gayosso, Mexico’s largest funeral services company, for $317 million, according to LBO Wire. It reported that Advent invested $122 million from two of its Latin American private equity funds, and raised another $215 million from a group of investors led by the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Alitalia said that TPG has been unable to form a consortium with a majority of Italian investors, but that the private equity firm would continue to look for other opportunities in the airline’s privatization.

Alltel Corp. (NYSE: AT) has received FCC approval for its pending $71.50 per share buyout by TPG and GS Capital Partners. The total deal is valued at $27.5 billion, with leveraged financing being provided by Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Barclays and RBS. Alltel is being advised by Merrill Lynch, Stephens Inc. and JP Morgan Securities. Alltel CEO Scott Ford will remain in place post-buyout.

Apollo Management and TPG have received New Jersey casino regulator approval of their proposed buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment (NYSE: HET). The $31 billion deal includes around $17.1 billion of equity, and is expected to close late this year or early next year.

Asia Pacific Exploration Consolidated LP, an oil and gas exploration company focused on Southeast Asia, has secured a $380 million line of credit from a private equity consortium. Pine Brook Road Partners led the buyers, and was joined by The AES Corp., Temasek Holdings and Actis Capital. .

The Blackstone Group has closed its $26 billion buyout Hilton Hotels Corp., with Hilton stockholders receiving $47.50 per share. Hilton has de-listed from the NYSE.

The Carlyle Group and Apollo Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) have formed a $1 billion joint venture, to make investments in the international education services sector. Apollo Group has committed up to $801 million and will own 80.1 percent of the joint venture.Carlyle has committed up to $199 million and will own 19.9 percent. Investments and funding will be subject to approval by the respective investment committees of both Apollo Group and Carlyle.

Cerberus Capital Management has withdrawn its $6.2 billion offer to acquire BPO and IT services provider Affiliated Computer Services Inc. (NYSE: ACS). Cerberus sent an apologetic letter to the ACS board, citing “poor conditions in the debt market.”

CVC Capital Partners has acquired a 29 percent stake in Chinese PET bottle maker Zhuhai Zhongfu Enterprise Co. Ltd., for $225 million.

Elevation Partners has completed its acquisition of a 25 percent stake in handheld device maker Palm Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) for $325 million. As part of the deal, Palm paid a special distribution of $9 per share, or about $940 million in cash, to shareholders for their reduction in ownership.

Energy Investors Funds and Enpower Corp. have agreed to acquire Landfill Energy Systems, owner and operator of 14 landfill gas-to-energy projects located in 7 states. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will keep existing LES management in place.

Essex Woodlands Health Ventures has acquired a majority stake in Bledsoe Brace Systems, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based maker of orthopedic bracing products. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was done in partnership with industry veterans Greg Nelson and Andrew Myers. Nelson will become chairman and CEO, while Myers will serve as executive vice president of business development. Former CEO Gary Bledsoe will remain president of the company, and retain a “substantial” equity interest.

Eureka Growth Capital has acquired Everite Machine Products Co., a Philadelphia-based electrochemical grinding company with core competencies in high precision engineering, manufacturing and supply chain optimization. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Citibank provided senior financing and Roynat Merchant Capital provided subordinated notes. The deal was done in partnership with Everite management.

Fender Musical Instruments Corp., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based guitar maker partially owned by Weston Presidio, has agreed to acquire Kaman Music Corp. from Kaman Corp. (Nasdaq: KAMN) for approximately $117 million in cash.

First Reserve Corp. has committed $300 million to an acquisition platform that will focus on energy-related shipping assets. The effort is called Diamond S Shipping LLC, and is being done in partnership with shipping industry veteran Craig Stevenson.

Global Infrastructure Partners has acquired a 74 percent stake in East India Petroleum Ltd., a Visakhapatnam, India-based provider of liquid storage services for petroleum, oil and lubricant products, petrochemicals, liquefied petroleum gas and biodiesel. No financial terms were disclosed for the buyout, which was done as a joint venture with Zeus Infra-management (GIP holds an 80 percent stake in the JV).

GMT Communications Partners has completed its acquisition of UK outdoor advertising business Primesight Ltd. from British media company SMG. The deal was valued at £62 million, with Hawkpoint Partners advising SMG. Primesight’s products include advertising display panels on major roads and display panels at locations such as cinemas, health clubs and retail outlets. SMG will use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt.

Gores Group has agreed to acquire Sagem Communications from French aerospace company Safran for €383 million. Sagem provides broadband products like printing terminals and digital TV set-top boxes. It had €1.3 billion in 2006 revenue.

Gores Group has agreed to buy the Power Systems business of Tyco Electronics Ltd. for $100 million in cash. The deal is expected to close either late this year, or in early 2008. The unit manufactures power solutions, including board-level conversion components and complete power conversion and backup power systems for telecom applications.

Great Circle Fund has invested in Balnak Logistics Group, a Turkish provider of third-party logistics. No financial terms were disclosed, except that the deal “will serve as the cornerstone of a $50 million expansion of Balnak’s business.”

Greenbriar Equity Partners and Berkshire Partners have acquired AmSafe Partners Inc., a Phoenix–based provider of safety and security systems for the aviation, air cargo, military and specialty vehicle markets. Sellers were The Pritzker Group and Admiralty Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Oak Hill Advisors and Wells Fargo provided senior note financing, while subordinated financing was privately placed with undisclosed buyers. Credit Suisse advised Greenbriar and Berkshire, while Jefferies Quarterdeck advised the sellers.

Haggin Marketing Inc., a Mill Valley, Calif.–based multi-channel direct marketing agency, has acquired Coupons Inc. (a.k.a. Getmembers), an Atlanta–based direct mail agency. No financial terms were disclosed. Haggin Marketing has raised private equity funding from Lake Capital.

Hellman & Friedman has agreed to acquire Goodman Global Inc. (NYSE: GGL) for approximately $2.65 billion. Goodman Global stockholders would receive $25.60 per share in cash, which is a 14.5 percent premium to Friday’s closing price. Senior credit facilities have been committed by Barclays Capital, Calyon New York Branch, GE Commercial Finance and GSO Capital Partners. GSO also has committed $500 million in senior subordinated financing. Goodman Global is a Houston, Texas-based manufacturer of residential and light commercial heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. It was advised on the deal by Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities.

H.I.G. Capital has agreed to acquire Flight Options LLC from Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) for an undisclosed amount. Flight Options is a Cleveland-based private jet aviation company that operates a fleet of 130 luxury aircraft for businesses and high-net-worth clients.

Industrial Renaissance has sponsored a recapitalization of Russell-Newman, a maker of sleepwear and intimate apparel. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was done in partnership with Russell-Newman senior management. GW Equity represented Russell-Newman.

J.C. Flowers & Co. confirmed today that it is in talks with Northern Rock PLC about a possible takeover bid, naming a proposed high-profile management team for the troubled mortgage lender, according to the Associated Press. Virgin Group is also said to be interested in Northern Rock.

Kellwood Co. (NYSE: KWD), a marketer of apparel and consumer soft goods, has rejected a $544 million buyout offer from Sun Capital Partners. Kellwood said that the $21 per share offer would not provide adequate value to stockholders.

KKR and Goldman Sachs have agreed to invest $400 million into audio equipment maker Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR). The investment would be in lieu of a breakup fee that the two firms would have been required to pay, as part of their decision to bail on an $8 billion take-private buyout of Harman.

Lee Equity Partners has completed its buyout of retailer Deb Shops Inc., a Philadelphia-based retailer of apparel, shoes and accessories for juniors in both regular and plus sizes. The deal’s total equity value was approximately $395 million, with Debs stockholders receiving $27.25 per share. Debs has de-listed from the Nasdaq.

Local Insight Media LP, a publishing portfolio company of Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, has completed a $547 million debt financing known as a whole business securitization.

Manor Care Inc. (NYSE: HCR) stockholders have approved a $67 per share buyout offer from The Carlyle Group. The total deal is valued at approximately $6.3 billion. Manor Care is a Toledo, Ohio-based nursing home operator.

Marlin Equity Partners has closed on its acquisition of Hanover Accessories Inc., a designer and marketer of jewelry, hair accessories, pet accessories and seasonal novelty products for the child, teen and pet markets. No financial terms were disclosed. Hanover will be integrated into Ultra*Pro, an existing Marlin portfolio company.

Marwit Capital Partners has acquired Boot Barn, an Orange, Calif.-based retailer of western footwear and apparel, in partnership with company management. No financial terms were disclosed.

Midwest Airlines (AMEX: MEH) shareholders have approved a $17 per share buyout offer from TPG. The total deal would be valued at $450 million.

North Pointe Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: NPTE) has agreed to sell its Home Pointe Insurance Co. subsidiary, which comprises its Florida homeowners and dwelling fire operations, to American Capital Assurance Corp., a subsidiary of Safe Harbour Holdings LLC. The deal is valued at approximately $15.3 million. Safe Harbour is backed by Arx Holding Corp., Flexpoint Partners and New Capital Partners.

Nycomed AS, a Danish drug company, has agreed to acquire Bradley Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: BDY) for $20 per share. The total equity purchase price would be $346 million, with a close expected by Q1 2008. Nordic Capital holds a 51 percent stake in Nycomed, with other shareholders including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Blackstone Group and AlpInvest.

Pfingsten Partners has led a buyout of Tropitone Furniture Company Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based designer and manufacturer of upscale casual outdoor furniture sold under the Tropitone and Basta Sole brands. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which included co-investments from HarbourVest Partners and DuPont Capital Management. Tropitone was advised by Lincoln International.

Platinum Equity has agreed to acquire Covad Communications Group Inc. (AMEX: DVW), a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of integrated voice and data communications. The total deal is valued at around $417 million, with Covad stockholders to receive $1.02 per share in cash. Barclays Capital is advising Covad on the deal, while Platinum is being repped by Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin.

Platinum Equity has completed its acquisition of Chicago-based metals processor Ryerson Inc. (NYSE: RYI). The total deal is valued at approximately $2 billion, with Ryerson stockholders receiving $34.50 per share. UBS advised Ryerson on the deal.

Phoenix Equity Partners has acquired an undisclosed stake in UK-based organic produce delivery company Abel & Cole. No financial terms were disclosed, but a UK press report puts Able & Cole’s total equity value at between £30 million and £40 million. European Capital also had been in competition for the deal.

The Pritzker Group has acquired Carters-Waters, a distributor of construction materials and tools to commercial, highway, municipal and multi-family builders in Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois.

Prometheus Partners has recapitalized Porta-Jon of the Piedmont Inc., and combined it with existing portfolio company Spanky’s Portable Services Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. The combined company will be called Portable Facilities Holdings Inc., and will provide portable rest rooms throughout the Carolinas and Southern California. McColl Partners advised Porta-Jon on the transaction.

Providence Equity Partners has completed a $300 million convertible preferred stock investment in ZeniMax Media Inc., a Rockville, Md.-based creator and publisher of interactive entertainment content for gaming consoles, PCs, handheld devices and online gaming. Providence will receive a minority, non-control ownership stake. Banc of America Securities advised ZeniMax on the deal, while Providence was advised by Goldman Sachs. Michael Dominguez, a Providence managing director, will join the ZeniMax board of directors.

Puget Energy (NYSE: PSD), a regulated utility providing electric and natural gas service to the growing Puget Sound region of western Washington, has agreed to be taken private for $30 per share. The total deal is valued at $7.4 billion, including $3.2 billion in equity, $1.6 billion in leveraged financing and $2.6 billion in assumed debt. The buying consortium includes Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, British Columbia Investment Management Corp., Alberta Investment Management, Macquarie-FSS Infrastructure Trust and Macquarie Bank Ltd.

Riverside Partners has acquired Maxvision, a Madison Ala.-based manufacturer of military and commercial portable computer workstation and server products. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which included participation from Maxvision management.

Ryerson Inc. (NYSE: RYI) stockholders have approved a $34.50 per share buyout offer from Platinum Equity. The total deal is valued at approximately $2 billion. Ryerson is a Chicago-based metals processor, and is being advised by UBS.

Silver Lake Partners and TPG have completed their $17.50 per share buyout of Avaya Inc., which has de-listed from the NYSE. The total deal was valued at approximately $8.3 billion.

Stone Point Capital and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX: FFH) have agreed to acquire Canadian insurance company Cunningham Lindsey Group Inc. (TSX: LIN). Stone Point will pay Cdn$80 million for a 51 percent interest, while Fairfax will pay Cdn$30 million for around a 45 percent position. The remainder will be acquired by Cunningham Lindsey management.

Swander Pace Capital has acquired a control stake in Kooba, a New York–based designer of women’s luxury handbags, accessories and apparel. No financial terms were disclosed. The Sage Group advised Kooba on the deal.

TAG Equity Partners has acquired Vapor Power International LLC, a Franklin Park, Ill.-based manufacturer of steam generators, thermal fluid heaters, hot water boilers, superheaters, electric boilers and power burners. No financial terms were disclosed. Vapor Power was advised on the deal by Citi Capital Strategies.

TECO Energy (NYSE: TE) has agreed to sell shipping subsidiary TECO Transport Corp. to Greenstreet Equity Partners, a Miami-based private equity firm formed by Steven Green, the former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. The deal is valued at $405 million in cash, and is not conditioned upon obtaining debt financing. Morgan Stanley advised TECO Energy on the deal, while Greenstreet was advised by AMA Capital Partners.

TMB Industries has acquired Stainless Foundry & Engineering Inc., a Milwaukee–based provider of steel and other high-alloy composition castings. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is TMB’s second foundry acquisition of 2007.

TPG has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Shanghai ChemPartner, a Chinese pharmaceutical research outsourcing company. No financial terms were reported.

United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) shareholders have approved a $6.6 billion buyout by Cerberus Capital Management. The deal will pay out $34.50 per share.

Vestar Capital Partners has agreed to buy Radiation Therapy Services Inc. (Nasdaq: RTSX), an operator of radiation therapy centers. The deal is valued at $763.8 million, with RTS stockholders would receive $32.50 per share. News of the buyout sent the stock up more than 43 percent to close trading yesterday at $30.96 per share.

VMG Equity Partners has acquired Colorescience, a Dana Point, Calif.-based mineral makeup company. No financial terms were disclosed.

Warburg Pincus has completed its $65 per share buyout of Bausch & Lomb, which has de-listed from the NYSE. The total deal was valued at around $4.5 billion, including $830 million in assumed debt.

Warburg Pincus has agreed to acquire an 11.2 percent stake in Havells India Inc., a listed Indian electric and power distribution equipment company. The deal is valued at $110 million.

Waste Industries USA Inc. (Nasdaq: WWIN), a regional provider of non-hazardous solid waste services has received a $36.75 per share buyout offer, which would value the company at just over $518 million. The buying group includes Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Waste Industries founder and chairman Lonnie Poole Jr. and Waste Industries president and CEO Jim Perry. Waste Industries has formed a special committee to assess the offer, and engaged JPMorgan as an advisor.

Wendel Investissement is planning to use funds raised from a flotation of portfolio company Bureau Veritas to increase its stake in construction materials group Saint Gobain. The Financial Times said that the €1.2 billion IPO of inspection business Bureau Veritas, the biggest flotation in France this year, will enable Wendel to increase its stake in Saint Gobain from 6 percent to as much as 10 percent, triggering speculation that it may push for a full takeover of group further down the line.

Western Express has acquired fellow truckload carrier Smithway Motor Xpress of Fort Dodge, Iowa. The deal was supported by $40 million in subordinated debt from Key Principal Partners.

Wynnchurch Capital has agreed to acquire GDX International Holdings Ltd., a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based supplier and manufacturer of sealing systems and glass encapsulation products for the automotive sector. The seller is Cerberus Capital Management.