Buffett's firm boosts stake in Symetra insurer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Symetra Financial Corp. persuaded its two largest shareholders _ Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and White Mountains Insurance Group _ to exercise warrants they held on 9.5 million shares by handing them 184,036 more shares.

Both Warren Buffett's Berkshire and White Mountains agreed to redeem the warrants they'd held since 2004 on a cashless basis for 2,464,843 shares.

Berkshire and White Mountains will each hold a little more than 20 million shares of Bellevue, Wash., based Symetra after the transaction, up from 17.4 million. Symetra offers life insurance and employee benefits.

Symetra says it has been paying Berkshire and White Mountains dividends on all the shares they own and all the shares they had a right to buy for $11.49 apiece under the warrants, which were set to expire next July.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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