London insurer AON’s $30bn takeover bid for rival Willis hits EU antirust hurdle

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London insurer AON’s $30bn takeover bid for rival Willis hits EU antirust hurdle

AON Plc., the London-based Anglo-Irish multinational insurance company had been met with a swathe of stubborn objections by EU anti-trust watchdog over its $30 billion buyout bid for regional insurance broker Willis which in effect would have created the world’s No.

1 insurance company ahead of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., at least two people familiar with the subject-matter had unveiled late on Wednesday in condition of anonymity given the scale of sensitivity of the issue. In point of fact, a $30 billion acquisition deal for Willis, a London-based Anglo-American insurance broker, which was announced more than a year ago, came forth at a pivotal timeline while the global insurance industry has been facing off a flurry of headwinds with rising consolidations because of a mass-scale faltering of valuations, business overhauls alongside a growing number of pandemic-associated and climate-change linked claims.

EU antitrust watchdog says AON must overcome hurdles with concessions

On top of that, sources familiar with the negotiation had also added that EU anti-trust regulators were concerned as the acquisition deal might drive up prices and pull back innovations in the industry, since the bargain had showed off every potential to pour fresh scorns over the deal.

Besides, a delay in offering concessions from AON to close the takeover might hinder the UK-based insurer’s goal to round off the deal during first half of the year, the sources said. As of now, the EU Commission has been awaiting AON’s response following its request to provide further information about the deal a month earlier, while sources were quoted as saying in a press agency report that EU anti-trust watchdog had been working out a statement of objections alongside a charge sheet that would detail plausible competitive harms stemming off a takeover of Willis.

Both AON and Willis had two more weeks to respond and the companies are allowed to arrange closed-door hearings with EU anti-trust regulators.