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.

DealZone Daily

Time Warner is considering making a second-round bid of up to $1.5 billion for Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a source tells us. The March 19 deadline for the bids for MGM — whose film library includes the James Bond and Pink Panther franchises — may well be extended.

Shares in Arrow Energy have been suspended — the suspicion is that Royal Dutch Shell and Petrochina will sweeten their joint $3 billion offer for the Australian gas producer. Read the Reuters story here.

And as I am writing this, London-listed Gulfsands Petroleum is saying that it has rejected a preliminary takeover approach. The suitor is Indian, it has also said, but it’s not ONGC. To be continued.

Ghana, Ghana, Gone to Exxon

Sources tell us that oil behemoth Exxon Mobil won the bidding in an auction for Kosmos Energy’s stake in the Jubilee field in Ghana, one of the biggest oil discoveries in recent years. Analysts have said the stake could be worth up to $5 billion.

Private equity-backed Kosmos put its interests in the multibillion-barrel field, which it co-owns with Irish oil explorer Tullow Oil and Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum, on the market earlier this year.

Huge interest in the stake was reported. India’s ONGC, China’s CNOOC and even Ghana’s own National Petroleum Corp all expressed interest at some point over the summer. Other corporate interests thought to be bidding included BP, Shell Oil and ENI SpA.