3i Group CEO Michael Queen said that his firm may bid for assets being sold by the British government.

Advent International, Cinven and Permira have moved on to the second round of bidding for British sofa retailer DFS, which is being sold for upwards of £500 million.

Advent International and Bain Capital are working on a joint bid for a majority stake in financial data provider Interactive Data Corp., which is being sold by Pearson PLC. A rival bid is expected from Hellman & Friedman and Silver Lake Partners.

AMICAS Inc. (Nasdaq: AMCS), a Boston-based provider of image and information management solutions, said it received and rejected a $6.05 per share buyout offer from Merge Healthcare Inc. (Nasdaq: MRGE). The company restated its support for a $5.35 per share bid from private equity firm Thoma Bravo, which valued AMICAS at approximately $217 million. Raymond James & Associates is serving as financial advisor to AMICAS.

Anthony, a Sylmar, Calif.-based maker of commercial glass refrigerator and freezer doors, has acquired Trausch Industries, an Audubon, Iowa-based provider of on-site refurbishment of refrigerator and freezer cases. No financial terms were disclosed. Anthony is a portfolio company of Aurora Capital Group, while Trausch owner Edgewater Funds will roll over some of its sale proceeds into a minority stake for the combined business.

Aozora Bank and Shinsei Bank have called off a merger that would have created Japan’s sixth-largest bank. Aozora is majority-owned by Cerberus Capital Management, while Shinsei is around one-third owned by J.C. Flowers & Co.Apollo Management is interested in acquiring a stake in Zale Corp., the struggling jewelry retailer which hired Peter J. Solomon to help it consider strategic alternatives, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Berlin Packaging, a portfolio company of Investcorp, has agreed to acquire All-Pak, a Pittsburgh-based packaging supplier. No financial terms were disclosed. The combined company is expected to have annual revenue of nearly $500 million.

BC Partners has acquired a 65.5 percent stake in Spotless Group, a French maker of cleaning products, from AXA Private Equity for approximately €600 million.

Blackstone Group has reached a debt restructuring agreement with lenders to Hilton hotels, which Blackstone acquired in July 2007 for around $26.3 billion (including $20.6 billion of debt). The deal would cut around $4 billion of debt off the hotel chain.

Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. has completed its purchase of $25 million of convertible preferred stock in Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. (Nasdaq: RUTH), owner of several restaurant concepts including Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Proceeds will be used to pay down an existing credit facility.

Canon Communications LLC, a Los Angeles-based B2B publisher and event organizer, has acquired four media brands focused on the U.S. advanced design engineering sector, from Reed Business Information-US. No financial terms were disclosed. The brands are: Electronic Design News (EDN), Design News, Test & Measurement World and Packaging Digest. Canon is a portfolio company of Apprise Media, which in turn is controlled by Spectrum Equity Investors.

Catalyst Capital is leading a C$120 million bid for Canwest Global Communications, which previously received an offer of approximately C$100 million from Shaw Communications.

Castle Harlan has completed its acquisition of a majority stake Pretium Packaging LLC, a Chesterfield, Mo.-based maker of specialty plastic containers for the food, pharma, personal-care and household markets. Company founder Keith Harbison retained a minority position. As part of the deal, Pretium Packaging acquired the parent of Novapak Corp. from Kirtland Capital Partners. The total transaction was valued at $200 million.

Champion Enterprises Inc., a bankrupt maker of factory-built homes and modular buildings, is expected to auction of its assets next month. The “stalking horse” bid will come from a group that includes Centerbridge Partners, MAK Capital and Sankaty Advisors.

CoMc LLC, an Omaha, Neb.-based maker of floating porcelain tile systems, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Charter Oak Equity. CoMc makes products under the SnapStone and Avaire brands.

Duke Street has agreed to acquire a 69 percent stake in Payzone Group, a U.K.-listed payment acceptance company. The deal values Payzone at €104 million. Duke Street will invest €45 million in equity, while Payzone’s seven lenders will become shareholders—as part of a restructuring that will cut the company’s senior secured debt from approximately €300 million to €77 million.

EDF, a French power company, has set a mid-March deadline for bids on its three U.K. energy distribution networks. It is seeking to garner offers in excess of €4 billion.

E.ON has picked a consortium of 3i Group and Italian gas supplier Erogasmet as the favorites to buy its Italian gas grid, according to Reuters.

Eureka Growth Capital announced the recapitalization of Total Military Management, a Jacksonville-based business process outsourcing company focused on the U.S. military. Madison Capital Funding LLC provided senior debt and an equity co-investment to facilitate the deal.

Evonik, a German conglomerate partially backed by CVC Capital Partners, is considering the sale of a minority stake in its energy division.

Exclusive Resorts, a Denver-based luxury destination club, has raised $20 million in new funding led by majority owner, and AOL co-founder, Steve Case.

Extended Stay America Inc., the bankrupt lodging chain, said investment firms Centerbridge Partners LP and Paulson & Co. Inc. agreed to invest up to $450 million in the company once it exits Chapter 11.

Fiat SA has received an approach from Italian PE firm Cimino & Associates Private Equity, about converting a shuttered Fiat plant in Sicily into a facility for building electric cars.

FleetPride Inc., an aftermarket distributor of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts backed by Investcorp, acquired the Lathrop, Calif. assets of Mandal Truck and Trailer Inc. The deal is FleetPride’s 14th acquisition since Investcorp purchased the company from Aurora Capital Group and Brentwood Associates in 2006 for $506 million. Bank of America also participated in the deal, which included $160 million term loan B, a $40 million first lien revolver, and a $150 million senior bridge loan

Gala Coral lenders have proposed to invest £175 million into the troubled U.K. gaming company, as part of a debt restructuring. Gala Coral is currently owned by Candover, Cinven and Permira.

GMR Infrastructure (Bombay: GMRI) is in talks to raise around $322 million for its power unit, from unnamed private equity firms. The group also is in talks to raise $400 million for its airport division.

HDT Engineered Technologies, a portfolio company of Metalmark Capital, has acquired Nordic Air Inc., a Geneva, Ohio-based maker of air conditioning and ventilation equipment for industrial and military applications. No financial terms were disclosed.

InStar Services Group, a portfolio company of BlackEagle Partners, has acquired Horizon Restoration Inc., a Denver-based provider of disaster restoration services. No financial terms were disclosed.

Integron, a knowledge process outsourcing company, has sold a minority ownership stake to Actis for $50 million. Also investing an undisclosed amount is Integron’s majority shareholder, Ayala Corp.

KKR and Premier Natural Resources LLC have formed a partnership to invest in North American oil and gas properties. No financial terms were disclosed.

Lineage Power Holdings Inc., a portfolio company of Gores Group, has agreed to acquire PECO II Inc. (Nasdaq: PIII), a Galion, Ohio-based provider of engineering and on-site installation services related to communications power systems and power distribution equipment. The deal is valued at around $16.7 million, with PECO stockholders to receive $5.86 per share

Linsalata Capital Partners has acquired Eatem Corp., a Vineland, N.J.-based company that makes bases and concentrates used in soups and other food products. No financial terms were disclosed, except that GE Antares Capital provided a $37 million senior secured credit facility.

MBF Healthcare Partners has agreed to invest up to $50 million into Simply Healthcare Plans of Florida Inc., a Coral Gables, Fla.-based HMO.

Monomoy Capital Partners has acquired Casual Living USA Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based women’s apparel retailer. No financial terms were disclosed. Casual Living will become part of Boston Apparel Group, a Monomoy-sponsored platform that already includes the Chadwicks and Metrostyle brands.

Morgan Stanley is in late stage talks to sell its stake in China International Capital Corp to KKR and TPG for more than $1 billion, Reuters reported. Morgan Stanley has been exploring a sale of its 34.3 percent stake in CICC, which Morgan Stanley paid $37 million for in 1997.

Nautic Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of Healthcare Payment Specialists LLC, a Fort Worth, Texas-based provider of health care payment and reimbursement solutions. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was done in partnership with company management.

Navigation Capital Partners, an Atlanta-based middle market private equity firm, has acquired Specialized Technical Services Inc., a provider of infrastructure upgrades and services to utilities. STS is the first in a series of acquisitions planned by the firm on this platform.

NeuroTherm, a Wilmington, Mass.-based medical device maker focused on interventional pain, has acquired certain assets of neurodiagnostic accessory maker Technomed Europe. No financial terms were disclosed. NeuroTherm is a portfolio company of The Cortec Group.

North Castle Partners has recapitalized Flatout Inc., a Saline, Mich.-based maker of premium flatbreads, wraps and snack crisps. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also included participation from Glencoe Capital‘s Michigan Opportunities Fund.

OpSec Security Group PLC (AIM:OSG) shareholders have approved Investcorp Technology Partners’s acquisition of a 29.8 percent ownership position. OpSec makes anti-counterfeiting protection technologies. The deal is worth a total of around £15.8 million.

RedPrairie Holding, Inc., a logistics consultancy company based in Milwaukee, has agreed to be acquired by New Mountain Capital for an undisclosed amount. The company, owned by Francisco Partners, filed for a $172.5 million IPO in November 2009 and generated approximately $194 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2009. Net income hit $12.45 million for the same period. Francisco Partners acquired RedPrairie in 2005, and currently holds an 89.7 percent equity stake.

Rockbridge Growth Equity has led an acquisition of Protect America, a provider of self-installed monitored alarm systems. No financial terms were disclosed. Equity co-investors included Falcon Investments and Protect America founder Thad Paschall.

Rowmark LLC, a Findlay, Ohio-based portfolio company of Clearview Capital, has acquired Triline Sign Systems, a Milan, Italy-based provider of sign systems and components to sign makers. No financial terms were disclosed.

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a Dublin, Ireland-based provider of e-learning and performance support SaaS solutions, has agreed to be acquired by Advent International, Bain Capital and Berkshire Partners. The deal is valued at approximately $1.1 billion, with SkillSoft stockholders to receive $10.80 per share (10.66 percent premium to its closing price the day before the deal was announced). Credit Suisse Securities advised SkillSoft on the deal.

SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA) has agreed to acquire SunRay Renewable Energy, a Malta-based developer of European solar energy projects. The deal is valued at approximately $277 million, including $235 million in cash and $42 million in a letter of credit and promissory notes. Last year, SunRay received a $200 million equity commitment from Denham Capital Management.

Terra Firma Capital Partners proposed breaking up EMI Group three months ago, according to a document filed as part of an EMI-related court case between Terra Firma and Citigroup. Citi rejected the proposal.

US LBM Holdings, a portfolio company of BlackEagle Partners, has agreed to acquire the operations of Edward Hines Lumber Co., a Chicago-based supplier of lumber and building materials. No financial terms were disclosed.

Vodafone has opted against bidding for German cable operator Kabel Deutschland, which is being circled by buyout firms like Advent International, BC Partners and Carlyle Group. Kabel Deutschland could be sold for upwards of €5 billion, by current owners Providence Equity Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.