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Berkshire Hathaway may acquire Unipol insurance assets

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is likely to purchase the assets of Italian insurer Unipol, which are being disposed of as part of a merger with Fondiaria-SAI.

Il Sole 24 Ore business news paper was cited by Reuters as reporting that Berkshire may go for commercial assets of Milano Assicurazioni, a unit managed by Fondiaria.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been revealed and further details of the deal are awaited.

The Italian Competition Authority (Autorit√† Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) has forced Unipol to offload its portfolio assets at a premium of nearly €1.7bn ($2.2bn) as part of the merger with the Fondiaria-SAI group.

Expected to conclude by the end of this year, the integration of Fondiaria-SAI group and Unipol may result in establishing one of the second largest insurer in Italy.

In addition to Berkshire Hathaway, financial organizations, including Allianz, Axa, Aviva and Zurich insurance, are seeking to acquire the assets.

It is expected that the proposed suitors will submit their non-binding offers for the Unipol assets by next week.