A coronavirus virion destroying the calendara (Credit: CDC)

Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. say the COVID-19 outbreak may force the companies to postpone their deal closing date past March 31.

China Oceanwide has been trying to acquire Genworth since October 2016.

Genworth still needs final approval updates from insurance regulators in New York state, Virginia and Delaware.

(Related: Agreement With New York Regulators Buoys Genworth’s Stock)

China Oceanwide needs to get permission from regulators in China to convert currency and transfer funds to Genworth, Genworth says.

“Genworth and Oceanwide remain committed to the transaction and continue to work towards closing as soon as possible,” the companies announced Monday.

The companies still need to answer some questions from regulators.

“Given the ongoing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the remote work policies that have been put into effect for the parties and regulators involved, the submission of additional information and the review processes have taken and may continue to take more time than would ordinarily be expected,” the companies said. “As a result, Genworth and Oceanwide are discussing a short extension of the merger agreement beyond the current deadline of March 31, 2020. The parties will provide an update on targeted timing of the transaction once an appropriate timeline is finalized.”

Genworth is a Richmond, Virginia-based company that has large mortgage insurance operations in the United States and Australia. It was a leader in the stand-alone long-term care insurance market and still has large blocks of life and annuity business on its books.

China Oceanwide is a large, Beijing-based real estate developer and financial services company.

— Read New Coronavirus Hangs Over China Oceanwide Affiliate’s Board Meeting, on ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.