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EU to investigate Aon / WTW merger: reports

15th December 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

The huge merger deal between brokers Aon and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) is set to undergo an in-depth probe by European Union (EU) regulators due to its complexity, sources have told Reuters.

aon-and-willis-towers-watson-logosAccording to these inside sources, the $30 billion deal faces a full-scale review once the European Commission’s preliminary review of the merger concludes on December 21st.

This process would last five months and would look to address any potential competition concerns that may arise out of such a large combination.

WTW has already sold off its Miller arm ahead of its takeover by Aon, possibly to avoid any regulatory challenges on competitive grounds.

And some commentators have also suggested that WTW could have to consider options for its reinsurance broking arm, Willis Re.

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Aon and WTW declined to comments on these reports, but it is possible that an EU investigation could cause a delay to the merger, which is currently expected to complete within the first half of next year.

Analysts at KBW warned that any prolonged investigation and delay to the M&A deal could lead to more departures of key talent at the two brokers.

According to Reuters, Aon did not provide concessions on Monday, which was the deadline for doing so in the preliminary phase to address EU competition concerns.

These new reports follow news that UK and EU regulators have been butting heads over which authority will have oversight of some of Europe’s largest mergers ahead of a Brexit trade deal deadline this month, including the Aon / WTW deal.

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