Genworth Mortgage Spin-Off Seen Unlikely Even After Life Unit Sale

NEW YORK ( TheDeal) -- Genworth Financial  (GNW) looks unlikely to be able to spin off its mortgage insurance unit even if it manages to sell its life insurance and annuity businesses, according to an analyst who follows the company.

Macquarie analyst Sean Dargan downgraded Genworth's stock to underperform on Thursday, stating the company would have less flexibility than he previously thought in how it could use the proceeds from a potential sale of the life and annuity businesses. Dargan had previously seen the sale of those units as helping facilitate a spinoff of its U.S. mortgage insurance business. Hedge fund manager John Paulson had previously urged Genworth to pursue a spin-off, but the company resisted and he sold his shares in September of last year, Bloomberg reported. An email to a Paulson spokesman wasn't returned. A Genworth spokesman declined comment.

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