NEW YORK

Group of investors buying PetSmart for $8.7 billion

PetSmart is being sold to a group of investors led by buyout firm BC Partners for $8.7 billion.

The Phoenix-based pet store retailer says the investors have agreed to pay $83 per share in cash to the company. That’s a 39 percent increase from its closing price July 2 before the company announced it was looking to sell. The price is also a 7 percent increase from PetSmart’s closing price Friday.

In addition to BC Partners, the buyers include StepStone and Canadian pension manager La Caisse.

The sale requires approval from PetSmart shareholders.

TOKYO

Elections strengthen Abe’s hold on power

Japan’s ruling coalition won a resounding victory in lower-house elections Sunday, firming up Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hold on power as he prepares to push forward on several politically difficult fronts.

The conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled for most of the post-World War II era, locked up a solid majority, and appeared headed to winning at least two-thirds of the House of Representatives together with its coalition partner, the Buddhist-backed Komei party.

In a series of TV interviews from party headquarters, Abe said his top priority was the economy, adding that he would also tackle other major issues, including national security.

The U.S. government hopes Abe will be able to win passage of a series of bills needed to expand Japan’s military role, so that Japan can play a bigger part in their alliance.

MOSCOW

Russia denies military craft nearly hit passenger jet

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sunday denied Swedish claims that for the second time this year a Russian military aircraft had nearly collided with a passenger jet over Sweden, insisting that the two planes were never less than 42 miles apart.

Scandinavian Airlines, which was operating the commercial flight, also said the incident had been blown out of proportion and that no danger had been posed to Friday’s flight from Copenhagen to Poznan, Poland.

Swedish military officials raised the alarm on Saturday by announcing that the Russian intelligence plane, which had turned off its transponders to avoid commercial radar, had come dangerously close to colliding with the passenger jet.

– From news service reports