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Genworth Financial to start IPO of its mortgage insurance unit; plans to use proceeds to pay down debt

Genworth Financial to start IPO of its mortgage insurance unit; plans to use proceeds to pay down debt

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Genworth Financial’s corporate headquarters sign

Genworth Financial sign at the entrance of its corporate headquarters complex in Henrico County.

Henrico County-based insurance giant Genworth Financial Inc. has decided to again pursue an initial public offering of stock in its U.S. mortgage insurance business after delaying the process for four months.

The company’s Enact Holdings Inc. subsidiary announced plans Monday to sell 13.3 million shares for between $19 and $20 per share. It also would sell additional shares to underwriters as well as in a private sale.

The company had postponed the stock offering in May because of market volatility in the mortgage insurance industry.

The sale could generate nearly $600 million if the shares are sold at the upper pricing range. Proceeds from the offering will go to Genworth, which will retain about an 80% ownership in the mortgage unit.

The IPO is a way for Genworth, one of the Richmond region’s largest private employers with about 850 local workers, to raise money to help pay off debts after the company canceled its long-delayed plan to be acquired for $2.7 billion by a China-based investment company.

Shares in Enact are expected to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ACT.”

Raleigh, N.C.-based Enact, which had been called Genworth Mortgage Holdings Inc., sells insurance covering home mortgage loan defaults. That business unit changed its name to Enact Holdings in early May when Genworth first announced plans for an IPO.

At that time, Genworth was offering 22.57 million shares in Enact at a price range of $20 to $24. But a little more than a week after announcing the IPO, Genworth said it had postponed the stock offering.

In the latest IPO plan, Enact expects to grant underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.99 million shares of Enact’s common stock at the initial public offering price.

In addition, certain investment funds managed by Bayview Asset Management LLC have agreed to buy shares of Enact’s common stock from Genworth in a private sale, the company said. The investment funds would buy 14.65 million shares if the IPO price is less than or equal to $22 per share or 4 million shares if the price is between $22 and $24 a share.


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