California objects to Berkshire Hathaway's sale of insurer

OMAHA, Neb. — California regulators are objecting to Berkshire Hathaway’s sale of one of its smaller insurance companies, but they may not have much of an argument.

The California Department of Insurance said Thursday it is “disturbed” that the sale of Applied Underwriters moved forward without its approval.

One of Applied Underwriters’ workers-compensation insurers used to be based in California. Applied Underwriters said that the California Insurance Co. is now domiciled in New Mexico, which did sign off on the deal.

Berkshire and Applied Underwriters said this week that the $920 million sale to company founder Steve Menzies was completed earlier this month after Texas regulators approved it.

Berkshire didn’t immediately respond to messages Thursday.

Berkshire rarely sells or closes any of its companies because CEO Warren Buffett prefers holding on to assets.

The Associated Press