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Allstate, Berkshire Circle RBS Insurance

Rumors are that and Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway may be interested in acquiring Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance units.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Rumors are that

Allstate

(ALL) - Get Allstate Corporation Report

and Warren Buffet's

Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Report

may be interested in acquiring

Royal Bank of Scotland's

(RBS) - Get Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Report

insurance units Churchill and Direct Line.

Reports in

Marketwatch

and

The Sunday Times

TheStreet Recommends

say that RBS was

hiring advisors to run the sale.

This isn't the first time that Allstate has been rumored to be checking out RBS' insurance assets. The insurer was rumored to purchase the assets during the financial crisis and, "it became a big issue," says Paul Newsome, an analyst at Sandler O''Neill & Partners.

"It makes sense that if they looked at them before, they would be looking at them again," he says. "It would allow Allstate to go from a domestic company to an international one and would also add to the direct distribution system."

Of course, it is unclear if Allstate is interested in making acquisitions. The company historically has focused on stock repurchases, and it is likely they could make

buybacks again

. Allstate told

The Street

the company did not comment on acquisition rumors. P/>Strategically, it would make more sense for Berkshire, to expand its personal lines operations, Geico, with the acquisition. Berkshire also has an international presence, explained Newsome.

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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