Hartford selling UK variable annuity business

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is buying The Hartford's British variable annuity business for about $285 million.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced in March that it was exiting the annuity business so that it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds.

Hartford CFO Christopher Swift said in a statement Thursday that the sale of Hartford Life International Ltd. to Berkshire's Columbia Insurance Co. will help reduce the size and risk related to some legacy variable annuities, .

The acquisition is expected to result in a second-quarter net loss of about $110 million, Hartford said.

The deal is targeted to close by year's end.

Berkshire's Oriental Trading Co. also announced Thursday that it is buying toy maker MindWare Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed amount.