Aon announces major US business sale ahead of mega-merger

Aon announces major US business sale ahead of mega-merger | Insurance Business

Aon announces major US business sale ahead of mega-merger

Global broking giant Aon has today revealed it has signed agreements to sell its US retirement business to Aquiline and its Aon Retiree Health Exchange™ business to Alight for a total gross consideration of $1.4 billion.

In a Press release, Aon noted that the transactions provide further momentum on the path to close the proposed mega-merger with Willis Towers Watson (WTW). The agreements are aimed at addressing certain questions raised by the US Department of Justice concerning the combination, with regards to the markets in which these businesses are active. It was also highlighted that Aon and WTW are continuing to work towards obtaining regulatory approval in all relevant jurisdictions.

“These agreements further accelerate our momentum to close our proposed combination with Willis Towers Watson,” said Greg Case, Aon’s CEO. “These are very capable teams that have demonstrated exceptional dedication to our clients and our firm. I want to recognize their contributions and reinforce that we are confident they will have similar opportunities with Aquiline and Alight.”

Aon and Willis Towers Watson previously announced the divestiture of Willis Re, a set of WTW corporate risk and broking and health and benefits services, and Aon’s retirement and investment business in Germany. Total 2020 revenue announced or offered to be divested, contingent on the combination, is $2.3 billion, of which around 35% occurred in Q1, 23% in Q2, 18% in Q3, and 24% in Q4.

The US retirement business to be acquired by Aquiline will include approximately 1,000 colleagues and the agreement includes US core retirement consulting, US pension administration and the US-based portion of Aon’s international retirement consulting business.

This is along with many solutions and tools, including:

  • Benefit Index and SpecSelect
  • Risk Analyzer
  • DBCalc and YPR
  • Aon Pooled Employer Plan (PEP)

Aon noted that the agreement with Aquiline does not include Aon’s non-US actuarial, non-US pension administration or international retirement businesses based outside of the US.

Commenting on the deal, Jeff Greenberg, Aquiline’s chairman and CEO highlighted that the retirement solutions sector is benefitting from an increased focus on long-term investment security and risk management of plans. Aquiline’s significant experience across retirement and investments positions it to build on the strong business Aon has created, he said, and the team looks forward to working closely with the clients, management and colleagues of Aon’s US retirement business to create further value for all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the Aon Retiree Health Exchange™ business set to be acquired by Alight is an individual market solution aimed at better supporting employers and their retirees and was the first retiree exchange to meet the National Council on Aging (NCOA) standards.

Aon emphasized that all of the announced regulatory divestitures are contingent on the completion of the pending Aon and WTW deal, as well as other customary closing conditions. While Aon and WTW are working toward completing the proposed combination as soon as possible in Q3 of 2021, the completion remains subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals and clearances, including with respect to United States antitrust laws, as well as other customary closing conditions.