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EC seeks feedback on potential buyers of Aon / WTW divestments: Reuters

27th April 2021 - Author: Luke Gallin

Following the submission of Aon’s package of concessions to the European Commission (EC), as the broker looks to complete its combination with Willis Towers Watson (WTW), EU antitrust regulators are questioning rivals and customers about who is the most suitable buyer, reports Reuters.

aon-willis-towers-watson-merger-antitrustIn a bid to satisfy competition concerns surrounding the mega-merger between re/insurance brokers Aon and WTW, the former submitted concessions to the EC on April 9th, 2021.

It was later reported by Reuters, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter, that Aon had offered to sell assets in five European countries, Willis Re, and also its German retirement benefits and consulting operation.

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

And, according to Reuters’ sources, Aon is also willing to offload WTW’s entire P&C business portfolio servicing large multinationals in the four countries mentioned above, alongside a number of other European assets.

At the time, the EC said that it will seek feedback from both competitors and clients before making its decision.

People familiar with the matter have now told Reuters that a questionnaire was sent out by regulators to ask which nine rivals would be the best buyer of WTW assets.

Reportedly, the rival companies include Besse, Siaci and Verspieren in France, Funk in Germany, Gallagher and Lockton in the U.S., and Howden, McGill and BGC/Corant in the UK.

Ultimately, the aim is to learn if the prospective buyer of certain assets requires specific traits, such as a multinational network that makes them more capable of serving large multinational clients, one of the sources told Reuters.

After pushing back its deadline recently, the EC is scheduled to make its decision on the proposed merger between Aon and WTW by July 27th, 2021.

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