MILAN, June 8 Warren Buffett's Berkshire
Hathaway Inc is interested in buying assets that
Italian insurer Unipol must sell as part of a merger
with peer Fondiaria-SAI, business daily Il Sole 24 Ore
said on Saturday.
The paper said Berkshire was eying commercial assets
belonging to Milano Assicurazioni, a unit controlled
Unipol has been forced by Italy's anti-trust authority to
sell portfolio assets with premiums totaling around 1.7 billion
euros ($2.2 billion) as part of its rescue of the Fondiaria-SAI
The merger, which will create Italy's No. 2 insurer, is
expected to close by the end of the year.
Unipol CEO Carlo Cimbri said in May there had been 10-15
expressions of interest for the assets, including from Allianz
, Axa, Aviva and Zurich.
Insurance accounted for roughly a quarter of Berkshire's
revenues in 2012. Buffett's investments are viewed by many
investors as a seal of approval from one of the world's most
Non-binding offers for the Unipol assets are expected next
Friday, Il Sole said.
Neither Unipol nor Berkshire Hathaway Inc were immediately
available for a comment.