Warren Buffett

It’s unusual for Berkshire Hathaway to sell or close any of its companies. Warren Buffett says his preferred holding period for an acquisition is forever.

Construction of the proposed Applied Underwriters office campus — and the broader Heartwood Preserve redevelopment in west Omaha — will continue despite news that Berkshire Hathaway could sell the Applied insurance unit.

Jeffrey Silver of Omaha, general counsel for Applied, said a sale “will have absolutely no effect or impact” on redevelopment of the overall 500 acres southwest of 144th Street and West Dodge Road. The development still will be called Heartwood Preserve.

He said the project always was to be funded by Applied. “After the transaction occurs, there will be no change.”

The 55-acre national operations center for Applied is to be built within the Heartwood Preserve. The 800 Applied workers based in the Omaha area are to move to the new office campus, which will span about 450,000 square feet. Construction is to start later this year. The local Applied workforce is expected to increase as its Omaha offices grow, officials have said.

Other parts of the Heartwood Preserve already are under construction. The redevelopment site is expected to take years to fully build out and will feature retailers, housing and inside and outside entertainment venues.

As for Applied Underwriters' operations in Omaha, it will be business as usual, Silver said.

Warren Buffett said Monday that Berkshire had reached an agreement to sell Applied, which sells workers’ compensation insurance. But Buffett said state regulators will have to sign off on the deal before it can go forward.

Buffett said Applied Underwriters is a smaller firm that has to compete against two larger insurance companies Berkshire owns that also sell workers’ compensation coverage.

It’s unusual for Berkshire to sell or close any of its companies. Buffett says his preferred holding period for an acquisition is forever.

In the past, the only exception Buffett has made to this policy is for businesses that face the prospect of never-ending operating losses.

The report contains material from The Associated Press.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns the Omaha World-Herald.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Reporter - Money

Cindy covers housing and commercial real estate for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @cgonzalez_owh. Phone: 402-444-1224.

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