Reinsurance News

EC pushes Aon / Willis Towers Watson merger decision date to August

3rd May 2021 - Author: Steve Evans

The European Commission (EC) has further extended its deadline to come to a final decision on the Aon acquisition of rival broker and consultancy Willis Towers Watson (WTW), pushing the date into August.

aon-willis-towers-watson-merger-antitrustThe European Commission’s competition authority has been pouring over a proposed concessions package from Aon, with the insurance and reinsurance broking giant saying it would offload a raft of businesses in order to gain approval for the merger with Willis Towers Watson.

The EC has been seeking feedback from competitors and potential buyers of divestment assets, including the Willis Re reinsurance broking arm of WTW, and the latest is that approval is likely to be given with only small tweaks needed to the remedy package offered.

Sources suggest news on divestment deals could come within days to a few weeks at most, which all points to the merger parties being ready to move forwards as soon as possible.

On the regulator side though, the timeline may not be being seen as this clear-cut, with the EC having restarted the clock on its investigation into the proposed combination of the pair after concessions were submitted on April 9th, with the deadline for completion was extended to July 12th, 2021 but then extended by a further 10 working days to July 27th, 2021.

However, the EC’s competition and antitrust related unit has now extended the decision deadline again today, pushing it back five more working days into August, with a final decision on the Aon and WTW merger now due by August 3rd 2021.

While some now suggest the divestment deal details may begin to be announced in days, with the decision deadline pushed to in August by the EC, the chances of closing in H1, which is still both Aon and WTW’s target, remains uncertain.

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