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Aon / WTW combination to gain EU antitrust approval: Reuters

28th April 2021 - Author: Luke Gallin

Sources have told Reuters that re/insurance broker Aon will gain conditional EU antitrust approval for its pending $30 billion mega-merger with Willis Towers Watson (WTW) without having to propose additional concessions.

aon-willis-towers-watson-merger-antitrustReuters reported yesterday that the European Commission (EC) was seeking feedback from rivals and customers about who is the most suitable buyer for WTW assets offered by Aon in the broker’s bid to satisfy competition concerns.

According to people familiar with the matter, the EU antitrust regulator has asked for “some tweaks but is unlikely to ask for more concessions.”

Aon submitted concessions to the EC earlier this month in order to get the proposed merger a step closer to completion.

According to Reuters, if market feedback had been negative and Aon had then refused to offer additional concessions, the broker could have faced a charge sheet called a statement of objections.

However, sources have told Reuters that this is not the case now.

As reported previously, Aon will sell assets in a number of EU countries, and also the reinsurance unit of WTW, Willis Re.

Aon has proposed the sale of businesses in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, including financial and professional lines, aerospace, and cyber activities.

Additionally, the package presented to the EC also includes corporate risk broking activities in some other countries while a potential buyer examines those assets.

While this will be welcomed news for the broker as it looks to finalise the deal, the EC remedy does not address competition concerns elsewhere in the world.

According to reports, an expansion of the deals divestment package needs to include the U.S. to appease the Department of Justice (DoJ).

While in Australia, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now pushed back the end-date of its review of the deal.

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