Berkshire Hathaway Expresses Interest in Unipol Assets

By Marc Castro

Jun 08, 2013 01:50 PM EDT

Italian insurer Unipol is gaining interest from Berkshire Hathaway Inc for the assets it would be selling from its merger with another Italian insurance firm Fondiaria-SAI. This was reported by business daily Il Sole 24 Ore last Saturday.

According to the newspaper, the Warren Buffet led firm was eyeing properties forming part of the portfolio of Milano Assicurazioni, which is controlld by Fondiaria. 

The sale is part of the concessions required by the anti-trust agency of Italy. The portfolio assets with premiums amounting to Eur1.7 billion or US$2.2 billion are to be sold off in exchange for bailout funds received by Fondiaria-SAI group.

With the merger, the company to be formed would be creating the second largest insurer in Italy. The merger is expected to be completed by year's end.

According to Unipol CEO Carlo Cimbri, at least fifteen different entities have shown interest in purchasing the said assets. The firms expressing interest include Allianz. AXA. Aviva and Zurich, all insurance firms. 

Unipol or Berkshire Hathaway were not available for comment on the matter. 

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