BREAKING NEWS: Aon pulls out of WTW talks

Aon has confirmed it is not pursuing the acquisition of Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

In a statement published today, 6 March, Aon said: ''Consistent with Aon's stated focus on return on invested capital the firm regularly evaluates a variety of potential opportunities within and adjacent to its industry.

"Aon had considered such a possibility with regard to Willis Towers Watson. News of that consideration subsequently became public and Aon was required to issue a statement because Willis Towers Watson is an Irish company and is subject to Irish regulatory requirements.

"As a result of media speculation, those regulations required Aon to make the disclosure at a very early stage in the consideration of a potential all-share business combination. Aon today confirms that it does not intend to pursue this business combination."

Last night (5 March) Aon confirmed that it was in the “early stages” of considering an all-share business acquisition with rival WTW.

In a statement published 5 March, Aon said: "The company confirms that it is in the early stages of considering an all-share business combination with Willis Towers Watson."

Aon emphasized that the potential transaction is at a "preliminary stage" and "there can be no certainty" that any transaction will take place nor as to the form or terms on which any transaction might be pursued.

There were several reports yesterday, 5 March, regarding the deal. Bloomberg reported that Aon was considering a US$24bn bid for WTW, which saw WTW's shares reach an all-time high.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, if Aon had bought WTW, then it could have overtaken Marsh & McLennan (Marsh) as the world's largest brokerage firm by revenue. However, last year, Marsh purchased JLT for US$5.6bn.

WTW was formed in 2016 through Willis Group Holdings US$8.9bn acquisition of the consultancy firm Towers Watson.

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