Aon-WTW $30bn merger fails; CEO & CFO get contract extension

27-07-2021

Aon-WTW $30bn merger fails; CEO & CFO get contract extension

Greg Case, CEO, Aon

Global re/insurance broker Aon, which has a significant presence on Bermuda, has confirmed that its $30 billion merger deal with Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has been called off after they "reached an impasse" with the US Department of Justice.

The US DoJ had sued to block the mega merger last month, citing concerns over it eliminating "vital competition" in the US market.

Aon CEO Greg Case said that the two companies were unable to "secure an expedited resolution of the litigation" with the DoJ, and thus have reached to the point of terminating the planned business combination agreement.

Aon has agreed to pay a termination fee of $1 billion to Willis Towers Watson.

At the same time, the broker has extended the contracts of Case (chief executive officer) and chief financial officer Christa Davies for an additional three years. Both their employment agreements have been extended through April 1, 2026.

"Despite regulatory momentum around the world, including the recent approval of our combination by the European Commission, we reached an impasse with the U.S. Department of Justice," said Case, adding that "the DOJ position overlooks that our complementary businesses operate across broad, competitive areas of the economy. We are confident that the combination would have accelerated our shared ability to innovate on behalf of clients, but the inability to secure an expedited resolution of the litigation brought us to this point."

Case continued that "over the last 16 months, our colleagues have turned potential challenges into opportunities to advance our Aon United strategy. We built on our track record of innovation, continued to deliver industry-leading performance and progress against our key financial metrics and move forward with the strongest colleague engagement and client feedback scores in over a decade. Our respect for Willis Towers Watson and the team members we've come to know through this process has only grown."

Aon, Willis Towers Watson, Merger, Appointment, Insurance, Reinsurance, Greg Case, Christa Davies, Bermuda, North America

Bermuda Re