Aon PLC's acquisition of rival Willis Towers Watson PLC is still expected to close in the first half of 2021, although the European Union has extended its review of the deal until the end of July, Willis Towers Watson's chief executive said on Thursday.
CEO John Haley, who spoke with analysts to discuss the brokerage firm's results for the first quarter, declined to comment on whether divestments required for regulatory approval may exceed the $ 1.8 million limit set in the merger document.
He acknowledged that some employees had left the broker since the deal was announced, but called them "isolated cases" that had no significant effect and said that retention bonuses totaling $ 400 million would be paid at or after the closing of the deal. [1
Aon proposed a $ 30 billion acq utilization of Willis, which was announced more than a year ago, is being reviewed by competition regulators in the European Union and elsewhere who have reportedly required various divestments to be agreed before the purchase is approved.
In particular, Willis' reinsurance brokerage unit and operations in various EU countries, including France and Germany, are expected to be sold.
Mr. Haley said press reports about the divestments have some "truth elements" for them but could also be "wildly inaccurate."
At the same time, Willis reported revenue for the first quarter of $ 2.59 billion, a 5% increase over the same period last year. and up 4% on an organic basis, which currency fluctuations and other non-recurring elements.
Revenue for its main commercial insurance brokerage unit increased to $ 810 million in revenue, up 5% on an organic basis. North America's revenues increased by 6% with strong renewals in all regions.
The Investment, Risk and Reinsurance Business Unit reported 4% organic growth
Net income for the first quarter more than doubled to $ 736 million.
Michael Burwell, the broker's CFO, said "as a general rule, the COVID-19 pandemic has not had a material adverse effect on our overall economic performance in 2020 or the first quarter of 2021."