Airgas Inc. (NYSE: ARG) has acquired Aeriform Corp., a Houston, Texas-based industrial gas and welding supply distributor. Aeriform had been backed by American Capital Strategies. No financial terms were disclosed, although Airgas said that Aeriform had $65 million in annual sales. Matrix Capital Markets Group advised Aeriform on the deal.

ALPS Advisers Inc., a subsidiary of Denver-based ALPS Holdings Inc., has agreed to acquire the Liberty All-Star Funds from Banc of America Investment Advisors. No financial terms were disclosed. ALPS Holdings is a portfolio company of Lovell Minnick Partners, while the Liberty All-Star Funds are a family of two closed-end, NYSE-listed equity funds.

Astorg Partners has completed its acquisition of a 51% stake in Groupe Staci, a France–based provider of logistic services for non-commercial products. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers included Initiative & Finance, which sponsored a public-to-private buyout of Groupe Staci in 2004.

AXA Private Equity has agreed to buy France-based specialty chemicals company Eliokem from Littlejohn & Co. for 130 million euros. Littlejohn acquired Eliokem in 2001 in a corporate carve-out from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Littlejohn & Co. has acquired Stolle Machinery Co., a Centennial, Colo.-based provider of equipment to the beverage and food can-manufacturing industry, from American Industrial Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.

Montagu Private Equity has agreed to acquire a 50.1% stake in Sebia International, a France-based provider of clinical electrophoresis. The seller is Astorg Partners, which acquired Sebia by sponsoring a management buyout in 2001. Astorg will retain a 16% interest, while company management will retain 20 percent. Intermediate Capital Group, which provided mezzanine capital in 2001, will hold 13 percent.

Permira has acquired UK-based Principal Hotels from Royal Bank of Scotland for an undisclosed amount. Principal is a four-star hotel chain with six properties, including The Russell in London and The George in Edinburgh.

Vestar Capital Partners has agreed to acquire MediMedia USA Inc. from The Carlyle Group, Apax Partners and Cinven. No financial terms were disclosed. MediMedia USA USA was the core of a broader package of healthcare and business publications activities acquired from Vivendi Universal Publishing in April 2002 Carlyle Group, Apax and Cinven.