Global insurance and reinsurance broker Aon has reportedly offered to sell assets in a number of EU countries in order to gain EU antitrust approval for its proposed combination with Willis Towers Watson (WTW), according to Reuters.
Reports at the end of March suggested that a remedy proposal for European Commission (EC) regulators was being developed by Aon and WTW, as the pair look to eliminate competition related concerns to get the merger completed.
Yesterday, the EC announced that it has restarted the clock on its investigation into the proposed combination of the pair after concessions were submitted on April 9th; while the deadline for completion has now been pushed into the second-half of 2021.
Following the EC’s statement, Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter, reported that Aon has offered to offload assets in several EU countries and also the reinsurance unit of WTW, Willis Re, in order to gain EU antitrust approval.
According to the source, 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, reports Reuters.
The EC decided not to disclose the details of the concessions offered by Aon, and will now seek feedback from both competitors and clients before making its decision.
As we’ve wrote previously, the sale of Willis Re is viewed by some as a key remedy to help get the merger completed. Currently, it remains unclear if Willis Re is included in the package offered by Aon, but Reuters suggests it may still be one of the demands of the EC.
Of course, it remains to be seen if the concessions offered are sufficient to remove any competition related concerns from the mind of the EC.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that this huge merger has also raised competition concerns in places outside of Europe, suggesting that the pair might also need to find solutions to similar issues in other parts of the world.