LONDON, 9 March 2020 – Aon plc (NYSE:AON) and Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) today announced a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock transaction with an implied combined equity value of approximately $80 billion.
“The combination of Willis Towers Watson and Aon is a natural next step in our journey to better serve our clients in the areas of people, risk and capital,” said Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley. “This transaction accelerates that journey by providing our combined teams the opportunity to drive innovation more quickly and deliver more value.”
- Combines two highly complementary businesses into a technology-enabled global platform that is more relevant and responsive to client needs. The transaction unites firms that share a belief in the power of data-driven insights to create new sources of client value.
- Provides opportunity to expand and further accelerate execution against the existing Aon United and Willis Towers Watson growth strategies. The new firm will have an established focus on client value and its combined management teams have considerable experience with the integration of large, complex transactions. The teams have a shared appreciation for the importance of colleague development, the effectiveness of a one-firm growth strategy and the value of its application to the combined enterprise.
- Expected to drive year one earnings accretion to Aon adjusted EPS2 with free cash flow accretion of more than 10% after full realization of $800 million of expected pre-tax synergies. The transaction is expected to generate more than $10 billion in shareholder value creation from the capitalized value of expected pre-tax synergies, based on the blended 2020 price to earnings ratio of Willis Towers Watson and Aon UK on 6 March 2020, net of $2.0 billion in expected one-time transaction, retention and integration costs.
- Ongoing commitment to long-term financial goals of mid-single digit or greater organic revenue growth and double-digit free cash flow growth. The combined platform generated significant revenue of approximately $20 billion and free cash flow of $2.4 billion in 2019. The combined firm will be well-positioned to immediately deliver mid-single digit organic revenue growth or greater and, over the long term, double-digit free cash flow growth.1
- Strong balance sheet and a commitment to a disciplined capital management approach based on Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). Strong cash flow ensures ability to invest disproportionately in highest return areas of growth and innovation for the benefit of clients. The combined firm is committed to maintaining Aon’s current credit rating.