China Oceanwide Dips Into American Insurance, Buying Genworth
HONG KONG — A Chinese conglomerate has agreed to buy the insurerGenworth Financial of Virginia for $2.7 billion, in the latest example of Asian firms buying American insurance companies.
The conglomerate, China Oceanwide, which has interests in real estate and finance, said on Sunday that it had struck a deal to buy Genworth for $5.43 per share, offering a 4 percent premium to shareholders compared with Friday’s closing. It also said that it would contribute an additional $1.1 billion to cover maturing debt and to invest in Genworth’s life insurance business.
Genworth, which provides mortgage and long-term-care insurance, would become a stand-alone subsidiary of Oceanwide.
Genworth also announced on Sunday that it would have an after-tax charge of $260 million to $300 million in the third quarter after reviewing how much it would have to keep in reserve for long-term-care claims.
The deal is part of a wave of interest from Japanese and Chinese companies looking to make acquisitions abroad. Japanese insurance companies have been making purchases overseas as a way to protect themselves as Japan’s population ages. Chinese companies have been buying foreign outfits as economic growth slows domestically. Major deals this year include China National Chemical’s $43 billion offer to acquire Syngenta of Switzerland, a maker of farm chemicals and seeds, and the Chinese insurer Anbang’s deal to buy a portfolio of high-end hotels from the Blackstone Group, an agreement valued at $6.5 billion.
“Genworth is an established leader in both mortgage insurance and long-term-care insurance, which are markets that present significant long-term growth opportunities,” said Lu Zhiqiang, Oceanwide’s chairman, in a news release.
For Chinese buyers, insurance in the United States isn’t always an easy deal to strike. Companies in the field need to clear regulatory hurdles at the state level in addition to the national level. Anbang, which also bought the Waldorf Astoria as part of its spending spree, withdrew its application with the New York State Department of Financial Services to buy Fidelity & Guaranty Life, an insurer based in Iowa, because regulators had asked about ties between shareholders.
对中国买家而言，在美国的保险行业达成协议并非总是易事。除国家层面的障碍外，这个行业的公司还需清除州一级的监管障碍。在收购狂潮中还买入了华尔道夫(Waldorf Astoria)的安邦就因为监管机构问及股东之间的关系，撤回了向纽约州金融服务局(New York State Department of Financial Services)提交的收购艾奥瓦州保险公司信保人寿保险公司(Fidelity & Guaranty Life)的申请。
Oceanwide, which has made investments in United States real estate through its subsidiaries recently, has to obtain regulatory approval for the deal in the states where Genworth does business. Mr. Lu and Thomas J. McInerney, the chief executive and president of Genworth, said that the capital commitment would increase the likelihood of obtaining regulatory approval.
最近通过子公司投资美国房地产的泛海，必须在Genworth的业务涉及的州获得监管机构对该协议的批准。卢志强和Genworth的首席执行官兼总裁托马斯·J·麦金纳尼(Thomas J. McInerney)表示，承诺的出资会增加获得监管机构批准的可能性。
Oceanwide has also invested in other sectors such as financial services and energy, with a controlling stake in Asia-Pacific Property & Casualty Insurance.
泛海还投资了其他一些行业，如金融服务和能源，并拥有亚太财产和意外伤害保险公司(Asia-Pacific Property & Casualty Insurance)的控股权。
Through its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Oceanwide has spent hundreds of millions on real estate in New York, Hawaii and Los Angeles and invested in power plants in Indonesia. It spent $390 million on properties in Manhattan in August 2015 that it said it planned to turn into a commercial and residential tower. When it announced the purchase, the company said it wanted to expand its real estate business and build an international conglomerate.
If the Oceanwide-Genworth deal is approved by shareholders and regulators, the companies expect it to close by the middle of 2017.