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Genworth and China Oceanwide Push Back Deal Completion Deadline

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Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. said Thursday that they have postponed the consummation of their deal a 16th time, to Nov. 30.

But the companies said China Oceanwide “has reached a general agreement with Hony Capital on the key commercial terms and conditions of its $1.8 billion offshore financing plan to complete the acquisition of Genworth.”

(Related: Genworth Paid $10 Million in Q2 COVID-19 Life Insurance Claims)

Genworth is a Richmond, Virginia-based mortgage insurer that has been a major player in the life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance markets.

China Oceanwide is a Beijing-based real estate developer and financial services company. It agreed to pay $2.7 billion for Genworth in October 2016.

Hony Capital is an arm of Legend Holdings of Beijing. Legend Holdings is best known in the United States for being the controlling shareholder of the Lenovo Group.

China Oceanwide had arranged deal financing early on, but it has to refresh the financing arrangement because of regulatory approval delays that put off the deal closing date, according to Genworth and China Oceanwide.

The companies said China Oceanwide now needs more time to nail down financing arrangement details, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in part because the companies were still missing some major regulatory approvals up until March.

China Oceanwide “has not reached a final agreement with Hony Capital on all terms and conditions due to the logistical challenges presented by the global pandemic, including travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine requirements,” the companies said. “These challenges have significantly lengthened the time required for Oceanwide and Hony Capital to hold in-person discussions to finalize these terms and conditions.”

China’s Mid-Autumn Festival runs from Oct. 1 through Oct. 8, and that will add to the delays, the companies said.

“Negotiations between Oceanwide and Hony Capital will resume following this holiday,” Genworth and China Oceanwide said.

China Oceanwide also needs to receive clearance for currency conversion and a transfer of funds from regulators in China, China Oceanwide and Genworth said.

Lu Zhiqiang, chairman of China Oceanwide, said in a statement that his company has overcome many hurdles and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to acquiring Genworth.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique set of challenges to deal-making that traditionally relies on face-to-face communications, which is why the additional time is necessary to finalize these remaining steps,” Lu said. “Despite these latest challenges, we remain committed to securing financing for the transaction in order to close the transaction as soon as possible.”

Tom McInerney, Genworth’s chief executive officer, said the pandemic has slowed China Oceanwide’s efforts to complete the funding process. “I recognize that this has been an extraordinarily long road to travel for our shareholders, regulators, employees and other stakeholders, and we greatly appreciate their patience,” McInerney said.

— Read  Genworth Aims to Line Up Backup Financing Optionson ThinkAdvisor.

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