NU Online News Service, March 14, 2005, 4:10 p.m. EST

A Fairfield, Conn., giant has started an effort to raise about $2.4 billion by selling 80.5 million shares in an insurance subsidiary to the public.[@@]

The Connecticut giant, General Electric Company, has started selling the shares, which amount to about 19% of the Class A common stock of Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., in a secondary public offering.

General Electric held its first public offering of Genworth stock, which resulted in the sale of a 30% stake in Genworth to the general public, in May 2004.

Genworth also plans to pay $500 million for shares of Genworth Class B common stock, Genworth says.

If the deals are completed as expected, General Electric will end up owning a 52% stake in Genworth, Genworth says.