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Aon PLC said it will not bid for rival Willis Towers Watson PLC after publicly disclosing that it was considering such a combination on Tuesday.
“Consistent with Aon's stated focus on return on invested capital the firm regularly evaluates a variety of potential opportunities within and adjacent to its industry,” Aon said in a statement Wednesday. “Aon had considered such a possibility with regard to Willis Towers Watson. News of that consideration subsequently became public and Aon was required to issue a statement because Willis Towers Watson is an Irish company and is subject to Irish regulatory requirements. As a result of media speculation, those regulations required Aon to make the disclosure at a very early stage in the consideration of a potential all-share business combination. Aon today confirms that it does not intend to pursue this business combination.”
Such a deal between the second- and third-largest brokerages could have created a brokerage behemoth with more than $19 billion in annual revenue.
The Tuesday regulatory announcement followed a Bloomberg report earlier in the day citing unidentified sources who said Aon is preparing to submit a bid for its rival “in the coming weeks” and the firms “have held preliminary talks.”
As a result of this announcement, Aon is bound by restrictions established under Irish Takeover Rules and the company reserves the right within the next 12 months to set aside this announcement, according to its statement.
A Willis Towers Watson spokesman declined to comment.
(Reuters) — Aon PLC is considering buying rival insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson PLC, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.