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GE to reduce Genworth Financial stake

GE has revealed that it will sell up to 82 million shares of the Class A common stock of its insurance spin off, Genworth Financial, in order to reinvest the funds in its GE Capital business.

GE plans to sell the shares via a secondary public offering and through a sale to Citigroup Global Markets Inc, an affiliate of Citigroup, which intends to conduct a public offering of a security exchangeable for Genworth Class A shares. Once the sale is completed, GE’s share in Genworth will be reduced to 51%.

In addition, Genworth intends to repurchase directly from GE between $400 million and $500 million of Genworth’s Class B common stock at the net price GE receives in the secondary offering. The closing of the repurchase would occur at the same time as, and be contingent upon, the closing of the secondary public offering.

GE will use the proceeds to eliminate parent-supported debt at GE Capital and enable GE Capital to increase the dividend it pays GE from 10% of its earnings to 40%, commencing in the second quarter.

These actions are consistent with our strategy to continue to reduce our investment in insurance, and will accelerate GE cash flow growth, said GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt.