Private equity group 3i said that it would be buying Mizuho Investment Management (MIM) from Mizuho Corporate Bank in a deal worth around £18.3 million.

MIM focuses mainly on Europe and has assets under management of £3.7 billion.

In a conference call Michael Queen, CEO of 3i, said, "We've now got three platforms for growth - private equity, infrastructure management and debt management."

By 11:40 shares in 3i were flat on the FTSE 100 at 288.00 pence per share.