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Genworth Says China Oceanwide Deal Is Moving Forward

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Genworth Financial Inc. believes it has a better chance than some other recent applicants at getting a deal approved by a secretive national security review agency, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

“We are encouraged by the progress we are making,” Genworth President Tom McInerney said in a statement about the CFIUS clearance process.

Genworth included McInerney’s statement in a CFIUS clearance status update it released Thursday.

(Related: Cyber Risks and CFIUS: A Conversation With MoFo’s John Carlin)

China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. has been trying to acquire the Richmond, Virginia-based insurer since October 2016.

Genworth has been a major issuer of life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance. The company is also a major player in the mortgage insurance market.

Genworth and China Oceanwide have to get approvals from many regulatory agencies in the United States and in Asia. The companies have acknowledged withdrawing three deal applications filed with CFIUS. 

CFIUS has rejected several proposed deals in recent months. Earlier this week, it rejected efforts by Ant Financial of China to acquire MoneyGram, based on concerns about protection of MoneyGram customers’ personal information.

In the past, Genworth has acknowledged in reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has been working with third-party organizations on efforts to mitigate CFIUS concerns. Genworth has not described the CFIUS concerns. Observers’ belief that the CFIUS concerns relate to protection of customers’ personal information was based on speculation.

Genworth said in the new status update that the concerns do relate to protection of Genworth policyholders’ personal data.

Genworth and China Oceanwide have been working with an outside data administration on improving protection of customers’ personal private data, McInerney said in his statement.

“We believe further protecting the personal information of our U.S. customers makes our overall mitigation plan more robust than our previous CFIUS filings and expect to file our new mitigation plan in the near term, as soon as the key terms of the additional mitigation approach are finalized.”

Genworth is committed to completing the China Oceanwide deal as soon as possible, McInerney said.

The status update also included a statement from Lu Zhiqiang, the chairman of China Oceanwide. 

“We remain committed to our transaction with Genworth and look forward to building Genworth’s businesses in the U.S. while at the same time bringing Genworth’s expertise in long-term care and mortgage insurance to China,” Lu said.

—Read Genworth Talks About May 2018 on ThinkAdvisor.

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