The Capital Group Companies Inc. is seeking permission from Washington state regulators to let its money managers acquire up to 20% of the total voting common stock of UnitedHealth Group Inc.

In November 2007, the money managers managed funds and client accounts containing about 7% of the 1.3 billion outstanding shares of the common stock of UnitedHealth, Minnetonka, Minn., according to Capital Group, Los Angeles.

The money managers might want to invest more fund and client assets in UnitedHealth stock, but “not for the purpose of affecting, changing or influencing the control of [UnitedHealth,” a Capital Group executive writes in a letter to Washington regulators that officially disclaims any Capital Group interest in controlling UnitedHealth or its subsidiaries.

Capital Group is the parent of the American Funds family of mutual funds, and of Capital Group International, a unit that manages accounts for institutions and wealthy individuals.

Capital Group filed a disclaimer of control letter with Washington regulators because additional Capital Group purchases of UnitedHealth stock could affect control of PacifiCare of Washington Inc., Mercer Island, Wash., a UnitedHealth insurance subsidiary that is domiciled in Washington.

If the Capital Group money managers ended up with more UnitedHealth stock, they would simply be acting as passive investors of client and fund assets, not using the stock to affect control over PacifiCare of Washington, Capital Group says.

Representatives for Capital Group have declined to comment on the disclaimer of control letter, and UnitedHealth representatives were not immediately available to comment.