State insurance chief OKs China company’s acquisition of long-term care insurer

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In a case that drew national attention, State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro gave final regulatory approval to China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd to acquire Genworth Life Insurance Company.

The Virginia company with an insurance domicile in Delawarehas been facing difficulties with long-term care coverage.

The Application was first filed by China Oceanwide over two years ago. Since that time, China Oceanwide and Genworth continued to adjust the transaction as originally filed to address various financial and other regulatory questions posed by state, federal and international regulators, who were separately responsible for the review of different aspects of the transaction.

Navarro’s approval follows a November 28, 2018 public hearing.

Navarro accepts, with added conditions, the findings and recommendations of former Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb. Navarro appointed Judge Lamb to preside at the public hearing and present him with findings of facts, conclusions of law, and a recommendation as to whether the proposed transaction meets Delaware’s legal requirements for approval.

The Delaware Department of Insurance agreed to the public hearing after the parties recently agreed to deposit $375 million in liquid funds into a fund.

Having these additional liquid funds invested was viewed as key to approval of this transaction.

“I am satisfied that China Oceanwide brings immediate new value to the policyholders, and I look forward to working with them and with GLIC’s management to assure that the safety of benefits to GLICs policyholders is always considered the top priority.”

The OK includes certain additional conditions designed to assure the ongoing safety of GLIC’s policyholders.

The approval includes restrictions on the parties to assure that GLIC’s funds are used for policyholders including prohibiting any dividends without the Department’s prior approval and tasking China Oceanwide and GLIC to establish teams to continuously meet and respond to department requests focused on measures of financial health.

Navarro acknowledged the challenges facing long term care insurers as part of his approval: “I know that no one act will fix all the challenges of long term care, but I am satisfied that this approval is a step forward, to be followed by many future steps to protect the policyholders”.

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