DealZone

DealZone Daily

Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina have secured Arrow Energy’s coal-seam gas assets for $3.1 bln after sweetening their offers for the business.  The fresh bid was pitched at a 35 percent premium to Arrow’s share price before the first offer was announced, highlighting burgeoning interest in the coal-seam gas industry.

The former chief exexcutive of AIG is to sell most of his stock in the U.S. insurance giant to a unit of Swiss banks UBS. The deal for the 10 million shares, at about a 20 percent discount to Friday’s closing price, will earn Maurice “Hank” Greenberg $278.2 m.

Private equity firms are interested in acquiring and merging two German department store chains. U.S. firms are interested in acquiring Metro’s Kaufhof and Arcandor’s Karstadt chains, people familiar with the matter said.

For more deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in other media:

Richard Branson’s Virgin Money has lined up financing from Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Funds and buyout house Blackstone needed to buy 320 bank branches from Royal Bank of Scotland, the Daily Express reports. Other suitors for the estate include Spain’s Santander and National Australia Bank.

Hank Quixote

SWEDEN/Former AIG strongman Hank Greenberg is keeping up his steady stream of bull-horn bravado against what he says are fire sales at his old firm, of which he still owns 10 percent. But is anybody listening? The bailout bill shot from $80 billion to $150 billion in just a couple of months. Greenberg’s latest complaint, dutifully lodged with the SEC (an organ of the same government that now owns 80 percent of his old firm), says the company plans to sell its HSB Group unit at a “distressed” price. He wants an explanation from the AIG board.

Hank really can’t be blamed for trying to make sure he gets the best return possible on his AIG investment. “Certainly, selling major assets at fire-sale prices is not a viable strategy for reviving the company or even repaying the government,” Greenberg, who ran AIG for 38 years, said in the letter.

Viewing the landscape for a moment, it’s clear AIG is selling into a buyer’s market, so there’s little reason to think it will have much price-setting power. And with the mandate to pay back what it can to taxpayers, a fire sale may be just the thing the financial market needs to cauterize the damage done to and by Wall Street.