Willis Group to merge with Tower Watson in $18bn deal

James Nickerson
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Shareholders in London-based Willis will own 50.1 per cent of the new group (Source: Getty)

Reinsurance broker Willis Group is set to merge with risk management group Towers Watson in a deal worth $18bn.

On completion the deal will result in Willis owning 50.1 per cent of the combined group. Towers Watson shareholdings will own the remainder, keeping Willis’ Irish domicile, the Financial Times reported today.

The deal will create a wide-ranging professional services business, which will encompass risk management advisory, pensions consultancy and reinsurance broking.

Shareholders in New York based Towers Watson will receive 2.6490 shares of Willis for each of their shares and a one-time cash dividend of $4.87.

After the deal the company will employ as many as 39,000 people around the world, with revenues of reaching in excess of $8bn.

John Haley, the chairman and chief executive of Towers Watson, will head the new group, while Dominic Casserly, current head of Willis, will become deputy chief executive.

The deal will give the combined group a better opportunity to grow by integrating the various services each provide, Mr Haley said.

He added: “We also expect to realise substantial efficiencies by bringing our two organisations together.”

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