Brookfield Business Partners takes controlling stake in Genworth Canada

TORONTO — Brookfield Business Partners has signed a deal to buy a controlling interest in Genworth MI Canada Inc. for $2.4 billion.

Under the deal, Brookfield has agreed acquire 48.9 million shares, or a roughly 57 per cent interest, in the business from the Virginia- based parent company Genworth Financial Inc. at a price of $48.86 per share.

Genworth Canada is a private provider of mortgage default insurance for Canadian residential mortgage lenders. Shares in the company closed at $50.60, down 86 cents or 1.7 per cent Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Brookfield’s share were up 2.7 per cent at $47.92.

“Genworth is an industry-leading business that generates strong, consistent earnings and operates in a sector with high barriers to entry,” David Nowak, managing partner at Brookfield Business Partners, said in a statement.

“We look forward to partnering with management to support its ongoing success, drawing on our expertise in insurance and residential real estate.”

Genworth Financial launched a strategic review of its Canadian business earlier this summer after what it said was a “lack of transparent feedback or guidance” from regulators regarding Ottawa’s review of the U.S. company’s pending takeover by China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. announced in 2016.

Genworth’s discussion with Canadian regulators centred around national security matters, including data protection. Genworth and Oceanwide agreed to extend their merger agreement to Nov. 30, 2019 from a previous deadline of June 30.

“We are pleased to find such a high-calibre buyer for our interest in Genworth Canada,” Tom McInerney, president and CEO of Genworth Financial, said in a statement.

“We look forward to working with Brookfield Business Partners through the sale process and required regulatory approvals and, ultimately, moving forward with our long-awaited closing of our merger with Oceanwide.”

The Brookfield deal which is subject to customary approvals, including approval by Ottawa, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Brookfield Business Partners said it has no current intention to make an offer for the balance of the outstanding shares given the short time frame available to complete the deal.

However, it said that it may in the future consider the appropriateness of such an offer after discussion with Genworth Canada’s shareholders and other stakeholders.

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