7 March 2019News

Aon drops plans to buy Willis Tower Watson

Aon has given a statement that it will not acquire Willis Towers Watson, just a day after it had confirmed reports that a takeover was under consideration.

“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 said in the statement.

“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.

“As a result of this announcement, Aon is bound by the restrictions set out in Rule 2.8 of the Irish Takeover Rules. Aon reserves the right within the next 12 months to set aside this announcement where so permitted under Rule 2.8 (including Rule 2.8(c)(ii)).”

Aon had revealed its intentions via Irish regulators requirements on Tuesday, March 5,  stating that any deal was “in the early stages” and would be made via an all-share business combination.

The acquisition of WTW would have made Aon the largest broker in the world, pushing it above current number one Marsh & McLennan Cos., at least until MMC’s acquisition of JLT Group finalises.

Shares in WTW rose by more than 8 percent following the speculation.