Aon, Willis Towers Watson secure shareholder approval for mega-merger

Votes described as a sign of “overwhelming support”

Aon, Willis Towers Watson secure shareholder approval for mega-merger

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The vote is cast, and the proposed mega-merger between brokerage giants Aon Plc and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has surpassed the shareholder hurdle.

On August 26 both camps held their respective extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) of shareholders, who voted in favour of the transaction slated to complete in the first half of next year. Customary regulatory and other closing conditions still have to be satisfied.

At the Aon EGM, there were 197.1 million votes approving the issuance of the aggregate scheme consideration pursuant to the acquisition, while the ‘against’ votes amounted to 1.4 million. The WTW EGM, meanwhile, saw 103.6 million ‘for’ votes and 4.4 million against. In addition, a special court-ordered meeting of WTW shareholders also resulted in a favourable outcome.

Commenting on the approval, Aon chief executive Greg Case stated: “On behalf of Aon’s board of directors and executive team, I would like to thank our shareholders for their overwhelming support of the proposed combination with Willis Towers Watson.

“Our combination, which will accelerate innovation and strengthen our capability to provide more relevant solutions for clients, has only become more important through the COVID-19 pandemic. The events of 2020 are illustrative of the exact type of transformative long-tail risk our new organisation will be best positioned to address, creating significant value for clients, colleagues, and shareholders.”

Both domiciled in Ireland and headquartered in the UK, Aon and WTW employ a workforce of 50,000 and more than 45,000 people, respectively.

“The vote reflects our shareholders’ confidence in this next step of our journey,” said WTW CEO John Haley, who described the development as an important milestone towards completing the transaction.

“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s (August 26) meetings and we thank all of our shareholders for their support of this combination that will bring together our complementary strengths and expand our capacity to address unmet client need.”

WTW shareholders, upon completion of the merger, will receive 1.08 Aon shares in exchange for each Willis Towers Watson share they held immediately prior to the deal’s closing.

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