Shares of Genworth Financial (GNW 2.97%) traded up more than 10% on Monday, following the company's announcement that its proposed acquisition by China Oceanwide Holdings has won an extension from China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
With the approval, one of Wall Street's longest-running mergers and acquisitions (M&A) sagas remains on track to hopefully close in the months to come.
Genworth Financial/China Oceanwide is the deal that just can't quite get done. In October 2016, China Oceanwide announced plans to acquire the onetime General Electric insurance business for $2.7 billion, but regulatory hurdles and more recently the pandemic have complicated efforts to get the deal done.
The two sides have agreed to more than a dozen extensions to keep the deal alive, and the latest update is an extension of the acceptance of filing from China's NDRC.
With the approval, Genworth said that Oceanwide will now move toward completing the remaining regulatory requirements, including seeking clearance for currency conversion and a transfer of the balance of transaction funds. The two sides also need confirmation from the Delaware Department of Insurance that the acquisition of Genworth's Delaware-domiciled insurer may proceed.
Genworth said the parties are working on an extension of the waiver and agreement of each party's right to terminate until Dec. 31. They are also working on a 90-day extension of funding tied to the merger.
"We are encouraged that Oceanwide continues to make progress on the remaining steps needed to complete the transaction," Genworth CEO Tom McInerney said in a statement. "Although I am disappointed we could not close by November 30, we are hopeful that we can close in the first half of December."
The merger drama has played out over a ridiculously long period of time, but all available evidence suggests it is still in Genworth holders' best interest to get a deal done. The stock traded around $2 apiece as recently as this summer, when there was significant doubt about the outcome. At about $4.50 per share on Monday, there is still some upside if the deal gets done at the $5.43 per-share price.
It seems like, at long last, we are nearing resolution. But as anyone who has followed this story and all of its twists and turns since the initial merger announcement can attest, there is seemingly always one last thing. The stock is up on Monday, but given the history, it's no surprise Genworth is still trading well below the takeout offer.