Canadian regulators have made a decision that could increase the odds that Genworth Financial Inc. will be able to sell itself to China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. — or that Genworth will have the cash to survive on its own if the China Oceanwide deal falls through.
The Canadian regulators gave Brookfield Business Partners, an arm of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., permission to buy Genworth’s majority stake in a large Canadian mortgage insurance subsidiary, Genworth MI Canada Inc., Genworth announced Monday.
Canada’s Insurance Companies Act gives Canadian regulators the ability to block insurance company deals. Genworth Financial said earlier this year that Canadian regulators were asking it questions about the safeguards in place for protecting mortgage insurance customers’ personal information.
The need for Insurance Companies Act approval was the last significant obstacle remaining to completion of the $1.8 billion Brookfield-Genworth MI Canada deal.
Now that Genworth has the approval in hand, it plans to complete the Genworth MI Canada deal Thursday.
Genworth is a Richmond, Virginia-based company that is a major player in the mortgage insurance markets in the United States, Australia and Canada; was a major issuer of life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance (LTCI); and still sells some LTCI coverage.