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FRANKFURT, Germany-Insurance broker Willis Corroon P.L.C. will have a 30% stake in the soon-to-be-formed German broker Jaspers Wuppesahl Industrie Assekuranz GmbH & Co. KG.
The new company will emerge from a union of Jaspers Industrie Assekuranz GmbH & Co. KG, the fourth-largest German broker in 1996 gross revenues, and sixth-ranked Wuppesahl & Co.
"The strategic alliance is aimed at bolstering market strength in the wake of recent consolidation," said a Jaspers spokesman. Aon Corp.'s takeover last week of Germany's largest broker, Jauch & Huebener KGaA, created "a new situation," he said.
John Reeve, executive chairman of Willis Corroon Group, said in a statement, "Willis Corroon's investment, when finalized, will be a further substantial step in implementing our strategy of attaining leadership positions in chosen market sectors."
The merger will create Germany's third-largest broker. Combined, the brokers would have reported 1996 gross revenues of 130 million deutsche marks ($84.4 million) with 650 employees. Jaspers Industrie Assekuranz GmbH & Co. KG is based in Frankfurt. It reported 1996 gross revenues of 85 million deutsche marks ($55.2 million) with 400 employees. Bremen-based Wuppesahl & Co. reported 1996 revenues of 45 million deutsche marks ($29.2 million) with 260 employees.
Jaspers previously was linked to Alexander & Alexander Services Inc., which Aon also acquired. Corp. The spokesman said Jaspers will end its cooperation with Alexander & Alexander Services and buy back the 20% minority stake A&A holds in Jaspers.
Jaspers Wuppesahl will be based in Frankfurt. The management of the new company has not been decided.
In addition to Willis's 30% stake, Deutsche Bank, which now owns 20% of Wuppesahl, will hold less than a 20% stake in the new company. "The majority share of the company remains with private investors," said the Jaspers spokesman.
He said the move will secure Jaspers' position with its international clients. "International brokers need some link to other markets and the choices are limited," he said.