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Genworth, China Oceanwide Keep Deal Alive

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Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. are keeping their engagement on.

China Oceanwide, a Beijing-based real estate and financial services company, has been trying to acquire Richmond, Virginia-based Genworth for more than a year.

The companies originally hoped to complete the deal by Sept. 1. They agreed to one extension that pushed the completion deadline back to Nov. 30. The companies now have agreed to a second extension that pushes the completion deadline back to April 1, 2018.

China Oceanwide has insurance and financial services operations in many markets in Asia.

Genworth, which has been a major player in the life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance markets, has subsidiaries based in several U.S. states. It also has large mortgage insurance operations in Australia and Canada.

One of the many regulators involved, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, appears to have raised questions about the deal.

(Related: 5 Reasons Genworth’s Would-Be Buyer Could Still Close the Deal)

Genworth has not offered any details about CFIUS officials’ concerns, but Tom McInerney, Genworth’s chief executive officer gave a hint in a statement included in the press release announcing the deal completion date extension.

“We are making good progress in our discussions with a U.S. third-party service provider about proposed mitigation approaches, which justified the merger agreement extension, and we expect to refile our joint voluntary notice with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United Stated (CFIUS) in the near term,” McInerney said in the statement.

CFIUS reviews corporate deals involving non-U.S. buyers for national security concerns.

CFIUS watchers have suggested that, in some cases, CFIUS may take an interest in protection of consumers’ personal information.

China Oceanwide has said in the past that it wants to acquire Genworth partly because it wants to bring Genworth’s knowledge about long-term care insurance back to China.

Lu Zhiqiang, the company’s chairman, said his company still looks forward to completing the acquisition as soon as possible.”

—Read Genworth Talks About May 2018 on ThinkAdvisor.

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