Aon and Willis Towers Watson’s plans to create one of the world’s largest insurance conglomerates is no more. In a joint statement, the companies announced that they had mutually agreed to terminate their plans to merge. The companies’ plans were first announced in March of 2020, but quickly ran into a number of regulatory issues, particularly with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Despite regulatory momentum around the world, including the recent approval of our combination by the European Commission, we reached an impasse with the U.S. Department of Justice,” said Aon CEO Greg Case. “The DOJ position overlooks that our complementary businesses operate across broad, competitive areas of the economy. We are confident that the combination would have accelerated our shared ability to innovate on behalf of clients, but the inability to secure an expedited resolution of the litigation brought us to this point.”
Case added, “Over the last 16 months, our colleagues have turned potential challenges into opportunities to advance our Aon United strategy. We built on our track record of innovation, continued to deliver industry-leading performance and progress against our key financial metrics and move forward with the strongest colleague engagement and client feedback scores in over a decade. Our respect for Willis Towers Watson and the team members we’ve come to know through this process has only grown.”
“Our team’s resilience and commitment are a source of pride and confidence. They have continued to bring to life Willis Towers Watson’s compelling value proposition to better serve our clients in the areas of people, risk and capital,” said Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley. “Going forward, our focus remains steadfast on our colleagues, our clients and our shareholders. We believe we are well-positioned to compete vigorously across our businesses around the world and will continue to introduce important innovations to the market. We appreciate and deeply respect all the Aon colleagues we got to know through this process.”
Aon will pay a $1 Billion termination fee to Willis Towers Watson
According to the terms of the original agreement, Aon also announced that it will pay the “the $1 billion termination fee to Willis Towers Watson” as a result of the termination of the merger. Going forward, both companies plan to move forward as independent entities, with each issuing further quarterly financial updates and outlooks through their respective channels.