- Aon Plc announced it is buying Willis Towers Watson Plc for nearly $30 billion in an all-stock deal
Today Aon Plc announced it is buying Willis Towers Watson Plc for nearly $30 billion in an all-stock deal. This will make Aon the world’s largest insurance broker as it combines the second and third largest brokers globally into a company that has a combined worth of nearly $80 billion. The combined company overtakes market leader Marsh & McLennan Companies.
This acquisition comes at a time when insurance companies have been seeing a flood of claims. And there are new threats due to climate change and the coronavirus outbreak.
Last year, Aon decided to cancel its plans to pursue a merger with Willis following media reports about the speculation around a deal. And the merger agreement comes right after a 12-month restriction under Irish regulation for revisiting the deal had expired.
This deal also comes at a time during a volatile stock market correction and the main stock indexes substantially dropped today due to a 20% reduction in oil prices and coronavirus outbreak.
Willis shareholders will be receiving 1.08 Aon shares for each of their shares. And this offer represents a premium of 16% to Willis’ closing price on Friday. As a result, Aon shareholders will own about 63% and Willis investors about 37% of the combined company.
“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.”
-Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley
“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.”
-Aon CEO Greg Case