3i Group plc, a British private equity firm, is buying Japanese debt management company Mizuho Investment Management for £18.3 million ($28.7 million) from its parent company, Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Advent International has agreed to invest in Five Below, an extreme value retailer owned by LLR Partners. Once the deal closes later this year, Five Below founders David Schlessinger and Tom Vellios, LLR and company management will continue to own a significant stake. Founded in 2002, Five Below targets the youth and young adult market, offering merchandise priced between $1 and $5. LLR Partners is a Philadelphia PE shop that invests in mid-market firms.

Alpha Private Equity Funds has acquired Françoise Saget Linvosges, a French mail-order company specializing in household linens. Alpha specializes in family-owned businesses and corporate spin-outs.

Avista Capital Partners

has struck a deal to buy the STP and Armor All auto-care brands from Clorox Co., in a deal valued at $780 million. Blackstone Group LP, Golden Gate Capital and Castle Harlan Inc. were among the firms that looked at the assets, which have been on the block since April. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is advising on the process.

Barnes & Noble Inc.’s shareholders should support the bookseller in its proxy battle, Egan-Jones Proxy Services recommended. The advisory firm said shareholders should support two of the bookseller’s three director nominees including its chairman, Leonard Riggio. It also urged shareholders to reject a proposal by a dissident shareholder, the billionaire investor Ron Burkle, to change Barnes & Noble’s poison pill.

Battery Ventures has agreed to buy RAE Systems Inc., a developer of sensor technology for the industrial, energy, environmental and government safety markets, for $1.60 per share. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 53.8 percent over RAE Systems’s closing share price on the last day of trading before the deal was announced. The transaction requires RAE Systems shareholder approval.

BD White Birch Investment, which is backed by Black Diamond Capital Management, has submitted the highest and best offer for the White Birch Paper Co. White Birch Paper Company is the second-largest newsprint manufacturer in North America. White Birch expects approval for the sale at hearings in Canada and the U.S. on September 24 and 30, respectively.

The Beekman Group, a private equity firm specializing in small and middle-market companies, announced that its majority-owned portfolio company Northwestern Management Services LLC has acquired The Dental Team, a Florida-based dentistry group with six offices across the state. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners

has inked a financing deal with Tom Hicks, co-owner of the Liverpool FC, to retain ownership of the football club, according to the Associated Press. Hicks and co-owner George Gillett Jr. put Liverpool up for sale in April, saying they lacked the funding to take the club forward due to its debt of £237 million ($370 million). Blackstone offered Hicks a two-year funding package worth around £280 million ahead of the October deadline to repay the debt to Royal Bank of Scotland. Blackstone, in return for its investment, would share control of the club.

U.S. billing firm CSG Systems will buy Intec Telecom Systems, a British rival, for £236.7 million ($370.9 million), in a deal supported by private equity firm General Atlantic, which has an almost 12 percent stake in Intec. RBS Hoare Govett advised Intec and Greenhill advised CSG Systems on the deal.

Discovery Group, which owns 13.8 percent of Maryland-based communications company Tessco, has made an offer to buy the rest of the company for $15.50 a share. The Discovery offer values the company at $117.4 million. The share price, at the close of trading the day before the offer was announced, was $12.34, a significant drop from May’s high price of $20.50.


, the Spanish division of the Italian energy company Enel, is in talks with Goldman Sachs about selling 80 percent of its Spanish gas grid for around €800 million ($1.07 billion), according to a report in a Spanish newspaper. Funds sponsored by Macquarie and AXA Private Equity also submitted offers for the grid.

Energy & Minerals Group is attempting to buy the Canadian mining company Baffinland Iron Mines. The deal would value the company at C$274 million ($265 million) and give Energy & Minerals access to a key mine in the Canadian Arctic. Energy & Minerals already holds a 6 percent stake in Baffinland.

Flagstar Bancorp

, which is majority owned by MatlinPatterson, is trying to raise $600 million in a share sale to boost capital after eight straight quarterly losses, according to Bloomberg News. Flagstar has held talks with PE firms and may sell shares to current investors, the story said. Flagstar expects to use proceeds to boost capital and pursue growth, including possible acquisitions. MatlinPatterson, which was founded by David Matlin and Mark Patterson, invested $350 million in Flagstar last year.

FTV Capital

provided a $50 million growth equity commitment to Financial Transaction Services LLC, a provider of electronic transaction processing services. FTV, backed by 37 financial giants, makes multi-stage growth equity and venture capital investments in financial technology.

An investor group led by Gores Group LLC of Los Angeles acquired the Cosmopolis, Wash., high purity cellulose mill from Weyerhaeuser Co. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The group includes Dermot Smurfit, a paper and packaging industry veteran.

Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners

agreed to acquire Internet Brands Inc. in a transaction valued at about $640 million. Internet Brands’ shareholders will receive $13.35 in cash per share. This bid represents a premium of about 46.5 percent compared with the Internet media company’s closing price on the last day of trading before the deal was announced.

Jones Energy acquired certain oil and natural gas properties primarily in Ellis County, Okla. for of $33 million. The properties have a current daily production rate of 530 BOE and an incremental 6,700 MBOE attributable to identified drilling locations. Metalmark Capital made its initial investment in Jones Energy in December 2009.

KKR & Co., TPG Capital, Carlyle Group and Bain Capital LLC are competing to acquire a part of Honda Motor Co.‘s stake in India’s biggest motorcycle maker, Bloomberg reported. Two of the funds may jointly acquire about 15 percent, valued at $1.1 billion in Hero Honda, the news agency said, citing three anonymous sources. Another 5 percent may be sold to the Munjal family, founders of the Hero group, the report said, citing two unidentified people. Honda Motor and the Hero Group each own 26 percent of Hero Honda.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG are in early talks about making a joint bid for the wine unit of Australian brewer Foster’s, the Australian Financial Review said. The firms have not decided whether they will make an offer either together or separately, the newspaper said in its online Dealbook.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has bought Visma, a Norwegian software company, for £1.2 billion ($1.88 billion), from private equity firm HgCapital, the companies announced. HgCapital retains a 37 percent stake in Visma.

KPS Capital Partners LP acquired a controlling stake in Motor Coach Industries International Inc., which is a Schaumburg, Ill.-based maker of buses. Financial terms were not disclosed.

K-Sea Transportation Partners LP completed its agreement with KA First Reserve LLC. K-Sea Transportation sold 2.8 million more convertible preferred units for $15 million. The transactions raised $100 million in exchange for a total of 18.4 million convertible preferred units. KA First Reserve is a partnership between First Reserve and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors that previously agreed to invest $100 million in K-Sea Transportation Partners LP in exchange for the 18.4 million units.

Madison Dearborn Partners has bought a majority stake in Fieldglass. Company management, including founder and CEO Jai Shekhawat, will hold a significant stake. The deal is valued at more than $220 million. Fieldglass, of Chicago, develops software that helps companies manage their workforce.

Marlin Equity Partners has acquired Hospedia, whose bedside hospital terminals are used to provide access to entertainment and the Internet for roughly 10 million patients per year. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Mid Europa Partners intends to buy another 25 percent of Slovenia’s largest food retailer, Mercator, according to Slovenian news reports.

Nando’s Group Holdings Ltd. agreed to acquire Clapham House Group plc. Its proposal values the British restaurant operator Clapham at £30.4 million ($47.5 million). Nando’s is owned by private-equity firm Capricorn Ventures International. Capricorn already owns about 27 percent of Clapham.

Navigation Capital Partners of Atlanta’s James Brown Contracting Inc. acquired Schrader Trucking Co. Inc., a Jefferson City, Tenn.-based dry van truckload carrier. Schrader has 95 trucks and 201 trailers. It operates in the Southeast as well as in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Texas and Canada.

Polar Capital bought HIM Capital Holdings as part of its strategy to grow by attracting new investment talent and building specialist expertise, Reuters said. HIM Capital is a financial funds manager. Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources close to the company said the deal was funded by cash and shares.

Providence Equity Partners

dropped out of the $2 billion auction for China Network Systems Co., a source told Reuters. The decision to pull out of the auction stemmed from differences over price, the source added. Macquarie Group Ltd., Bain Capital and Permira remain interested in the Taiwan-based cable operator. MBK Partners is selling China Network Systems. It bought the business for $1.5 billion in 2007.

Rosetta, which is backed by the buyout shop Lindsay Goldberg, has acquired LEVEL Studios, a digital marketing and technology services agency. Financial terms were not announced. Rosetta is a large digital ad agency. News of the deal was disclosed by AdMedia Partners, which acted as financial adviser to LEVEL Studios.

Sahara India Pariwar, an Indian conglomerate, is in a preliminary talks over possibly buying the debt of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $1.5 billion to $2 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter. MGM, which has about $4 billion in debt, is owned by a group that includes Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Quadrangle Group, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Sony Corp. and Comcast Corp. MGM has until Oct. 29 to seek remedies for its debt problem.

Shamrock Capital, the buyout firm of the Disney family, is set to buy Screenvision from the British broadcaster ITV, the companies announced. ITV will sell its 50 percent share in the cinema advertising firm to Shamrock Capital Growth Fund II for $80 million. ITV will use the funds to pay off its net debt, which it says has decreased by £175 million ($271 million) to £437 million ($733 million) in the six months to June 30, 2010, and has been selling off non-core assets for a number of years.

Silver Lake agreed to buy a minority stake in Brazilian Web hosting company Locaweb for an undisclosed sum, to tap explosive growth in the world’s fifth-largest Internet market. Silver Lake’s Silver Lake Sumeru made the purchase of the undisclosed stake in Sao Paulo-based company.

SouFun Holdings Ltd. priced 2.9 million American depositary shares at $42.50 each and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “SFUN.” Underwriters on the deal have the option to buy another 439,986 ADS’s. After the IPO, General Atlantic and Apax Partners became major shareholders. SouFun is a real estate Internet portal and home furnishing and improvement Web site in China.

Sverica International announced that its portfolio company Accuvant has bought Ciphent, which provides cyber security services. Financial terms were not announced. Sverica more than $425 million in assets under management.

TPG Capital LP and Silver Lake Partners held early stage talks about buying Seagate Technology plc, but it is unlikely that it will result in a deal, a source familiar with the situation said.

Trilantic Capital Partners agreed to acquire an unspecified, but substantial minority stake in Fortitech Inc., which makes custom nutrient premixes for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Financial terms were not disclosed. Trilantic, of New York, has a total capital commitment of $3.9 billion.

Vestar Capital Partners V LP affiliates (Mountain Acquisition Corp. and Mountain Merger Sub Corp.), along with Health Grades Inc., agreed to extend the offer period for proposed $8.20 a share tender offer for all Health Grades’s shares. The offer’s new deadline is October 7 at 9 AM, New York City time.

Vodafone may sell its 25 percent stake in Polish mobile operator Polkomtel, which could spur the sale of Polkomtel shares by its Polish owners, PKN’s deputy CEO said. Polkomtel’s chief executive previously told Reuters that private equity groups including Apax Partners and Blackstone Group were interested.

Vue, Britain’s third-largest cinema chain, is looking for new private equity backers in a deal that could be worth 400 million pounds ($627 million). Cinemas in Britain are owned predominantly by private equity groups: Terra Firma owns the largest group, Odeon, while Cineworld, in second-place, is owned by Blackstone.

WL Ross & Co. completed a $106.7 million purchase of stock in Sun Bancorp Inc. Other investors included the bank’s founding Brown family and other institutional and accredited investors. The sale comprises around 4.7 million shares of common stock, 88,000 shares of preferred stock and it is estimated it will generate around $98.5 million in funds to the company.