China Oceanwide to buy US insurer for US$2.7 billion
All cash deal for Genworth Financial Inc the latest example of Chinese firms buying overseas assets
China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co has agreed to buy US insurer Genworth Financial Inc for US$2.7 billion in cash, the latest in a series of moves by Chinese firms to buy overseas assets as their domestic economy slows and the yuan weakens.
Genworth said in a statement on Sunday that privately held and family-owned China Oceanwide Holdings will pay US$5.43 per share, a modest 4.2% premium to Genworth’s Friday closing price, to acquire all outstanding shares of the Richmond, Virginia-based company.
But the Beijing-based company also agreed to commit another US$1.12 billion toward Genworth debt maturing in 2018 and charges related to the life insurance business, the statement said. Genworth said it will booking preliminary charges of US$400 million to US$450 million in relation to claims in its long-term care insurance business.
Genworth, which traces its roots back to 1871 and went public in 2004, has mortgage insurance operations in the United States, Canada and Australia, well as US life insurance business.
China Oceanwide is a Beijing-based holding group founded by Chinese businessman Lu Zhiqiang. The company is also the controlling shareholder of Hong Kong-listed China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd, which had a market value of US$1.6 billion as of Friday’s close.
Lu said: “We are impressed by Genworth’s focus on helping people manage the financial challenges of aging as well as achieving the dream of home ownership.”
The parent group’s operations span financial services, energy, culture and media, and real estate assets globally, employing more than 10,000 employees worldwide.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of the two companies, but is subject to regulatory approvals and is likely to be completed in mid-2017.