Willis Group joins with Towers Watson in $18B deal

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Willis and Towers Watson Aim to Merge in $18 Billion All-Share Deal.

LONDON — Reinsurance and risk advisory firm Willis Group Holdings and professional services group Towers Watson on Tuesday said they had agreed to an all-stock merger that values the combined company at $18 billion.

Under the deal, which has been approved by both boards, Towers Watson TW, -2.32% shareholders will get 2.6490 Willis shares for each share held as well as a one-time cash dividend of $4.87 a share. The deal would create a professional services, risk management and insurance brokerage firm with more than $8 billion in annual revenue and about 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries, the companies said. It is expected to close by the end of the year. “This is a tremendous combination of two highly compatible companies with complementary strategic priorities, product and service offerings, and geographies that we expect to deliver significant value for both sets of shareholders,” John Haley, the chairman and chief executive of Towers Watson, said in a news release. “We see numerous opportunities to enhance our growth profile.” Mr. The Sears Tower in Chicago, one of the tallest buildings in the world, was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009 after the company signed a long-term lease for space in the building. Perella Weinberg Partners and the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges advised Willis, while Towers Watson was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

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