According to a report from Reuters, the European Commission (EC) may approve Aon’s $30 billion acquisition of and merger with Willis Towers Watson (WTW) before the end of this month, which would be in advance of the EC’s own deadline.
Insurance and reinsurance broking giant Aon is getting closer to realising its ambition of acquiring rival and number three, Willis Towers Watson (WTW).
Having now announced a number of significant divestments of operations, from both Aon and WTW, in order to appease regulators and competition authorities, it appears the insurance and reinsurance broking giants are making the headway they would have hoped for and could still see the deal complete before the end of the second-quarter of 2021.
Reuters reported today that unnamed sources told the media agency that Aon is expected to gain EU antitrust approval for the deal perhaps as early as late June and if not then likely in early July.
It had already been reported that Aon is expected to get the green light from the EC.
But, the deadline for a decision on the merger by the EC had been pushed a number of times and is currently set at August 3rd 2021.
The divestments announced to appease the EC and gain approval for the deal came in an EC focused package that included reinsurance broking unit Willis Re being sold to Gallagher.
Aon then also announced the sale of its German pension business and then more recently announced the sale of $1.4 billion of US retirement related operations, which it saaid is a divestment intended to address certain questions raised by the U.S. Department of Justice over the merger combination with WTW.
An earlier close to the merger process would enable Aon to get on with the all-important integration process.
However, there are other antitrust and competitions authorities to consider still, with the US DOJ, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, as well as likely some others, all still yet to provide opinion on the merger, or demand any remedies to get the merger closed.
That said, the EC is a significant step in this process and may even coordinate closely with other country-specific authorities, so full approval to proceed may not be that far away, additional remedies allowing.
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