Aon to purchase Willis Towers Watson for £22.9bn

Aon has agreed to purchase Willis Towers Watson for $30bn (£22.9bn) in an all-share deal to create a combined equity value of around $80bn (£61bn).

The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in 2021, will merge two of the world’s largest insurance brokers and form the UK’s largest pension consulting firm.

The firms had initially been in discussions in early 2019 about a possible acquisition, but Aon pulled out of the talks on 6 March 2019 after news of the discussions became public.

However, the purchase has now been confirmed, with existing Aon shareholders to own approximately 63 per cent and existing Willis Towers Watson shareholders to own around 37 per cent of the combined firm.

Commenting on the deal, Aon CEO, Greg Case, said: "This combination will create a more innovative platform capable of delivering better outcomes for all stakeholders, including clients, colleagues, partners and investors.

"Our world-class expertise across risk, retirement and health will accelerate the creation of new solutions that more efficiently match capital with unmet client needs in high-growth areas like cyber, delegated investments, intellectual property, climate risk and health solutions."

Willis Towers Watson shareholders will receive 1.08 Aon shares for each Willis Towers Watson share, which represents a 16.2 per cent premium to Willis Towers Watson's closing share price on 6 March 2020.

Aon stated that the transaction would be accretive to adjusted earnings per share in the first full year of the combination and a there would be a total of $800m (£610m) in pre-tax synergies as a result of the deal.

Willis Towers Watson CEO, John Haley, added: "The combination of Willis Towers Watson and Aon is a natural next step in our journey to better serve our clients in the areas of people, risk and capital.

"This transaction accelerates that journey by providing our combined teams the opportunity to drive innovation more quickly and deliver more value."

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