Aon’s $80 Billion Merger With Willis Towers Watson

Aon’s financial advisor in respect of the Proposed Combination was Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and its legal advisors were Latham & Watkins, LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LL, McCarthy Tétrault and Arthur Cox. Willis Towers Watson’s financial advisor in respect of the Proposed Combination was Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and its legal advisors were Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Matheson.

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) and Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock transaction with an implied combined equity value of approximately US$80 billion.

The combined company, to be named Aon, will be the premier, technology-enabled global professional services firm focused on the areas of risk, retirement, and health.

Upon completion of the combination, existing Aon shareholders will own approximately 63% and existing Willis Towers Watson shareholders will own approximately 37% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Aon will maintain operating headquarters in London, United Kingdom. John Haley will take on the role of Executive Chairman with a focus on growth and innovation strategy.

The combined firm will be led by Greg Case and Aon Chief Financial Officer Christa Davies, along with a highly experienced and proven leadership team that reflects the complementary strengths and capabilities of both organizations. The Board of Directors will comprise proportional members from Aon and Willis Towers Watson’s current directors.

Aon plc is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. With its presence in 120 countries, Aon empowers results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

Willis Towers Watson is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that designs and delivers solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals.

Latham & Watkins LLP represented Aon in the transaction with a corporate deal team led by Orange County and New York partner Charles Ruck (Picture) and Chicago partner Bradley Faris, with associates Max Schleusener, Sean Parish, Oliver Cohen, Omar Ammash, Grant Page, and Henna Jalal, and with assistance from Orange County partner Daniel Rees. Advice was also provided on antitrust matters by Washington, D.C. partners Marc Williamson and Michael Egge and Brussels partners Lars Kjølbye and Héctor Armengod, with associate Tara Tavernia; on intellectual property matters by New York partner Jeffrey Tochner, with associate Deborah Hinck; on securities matters by Chicago partner Christopher Lueking, New York partner Benjamin Stern, and Chicago counsel Manasi Bhattacharyya, with associates Scott Westhoff and Austin Arnett; on tax matters by Washington, D.C. partner Nicholas DeNovio, London partner Sean Finn, and Los Angeles partner Laurence Stein, with associate Pierce Pandolph; on benefits and compensation matters by New York partner Bradd Williamson and Bay Area partner Julie Crisp, with associate Leah Segall; on finance matters by Chicago partner Noah Weiss and Chicago counsel Cindy Caillavet, with associates Colin O’Regan and Ellen Fischer; on export controls and CFIUS matters by Washington, D.C. partner Les Carnegie and Washington, D.C. counsels Annie Froehlich and Rachel Alpert, with associates Zachary Eddington and Allison Hugi; and on compliance matters by New York partners James Brandt and Kevin McDonough.

The Skadden team advising Willis Towers Watson included New York M&A partners Joseph Coco, Todd Freed and Blair Thetford.

The Weil team advising Willis Towers Watson was led by Mergers & Acquisitions partner Michael Aiello and includes Mergers & Acquisitions partners Matthew Gilroy, David Avery-Gee and Amanda Fenster and Mergers & Acquisitions associates Martin Weatherston-Wilson, Chelsea Berry, Sam Hulsey, Mashudu Thidiela, Adena Kleiner (Not Yet Admitted in New York) and Cassidy Eilish (Not Yet Admitted in England & Wales). The team also includes head of Tax Joe Pari; Tax partners Devon Bodoh and Jenny Doak; Head of Executive Compensation & Benefits Paul Wessel; Executive Compensation & Benefits partner Amy Rubin; Banking & Finance head Daniel Dokos and Banking & Finance partner Vynessa Nemunaitis; Capital Markets partner Corey Chivers; Technology & IP Transactions partner Karen Ballack; Antitrust partners Jeffrey Perry and Megan Granger; Technology & IP Transactions counsel Caroline Geiger; Tax associates Alfonso Dulcey and Steven Ort; Executive Compensation & Benefits associates Amanda Rosenblum and Maliha Ikram; Capital Markets associates Daniel Evens and Alla Khabinskaya; and Technology & IP Transactions associates Olivia Greer and Luis Gonzalez.

The Freshfields team working with Aon General Counsel Darren Zeidel and his team was led by partners Julian Long, Martin McElwee, Andrew Murphy and James Smethurst.

Arthur Cox advised Aon with a team led by Corporate and M&A partner Cian McCourt and also featured partners Brian O’Gorman, Fintan Clancy, Ailish Finnertyand Stephen Hegarty.

Matheson advised Willis Towers Watson with a team included Partners David Fitzgibbon, David Jones, and Tim Scanlon.

The McCarthy Tétrault team was led by Jason Gudofsky that includes Debbie Salzberger, Casey Halladay, Michael Caldecott and Julien Beaulieu (Competition) and Randy Bauslaugh, Greg Winfield and Deron Waldock (Pensions).

Involved fees earner: Fintan Clancy – Arthur Cox; Ailish Finnerty – Arthur Cox; Stephen Hegarty – Arthur Cox; Cian McCourt – Arthur Cox; Brian O’Gorman – Arthur Cox; Julian Long – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Martin McElwee – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Andrew Murphy – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; James Smethurst – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Rachel Alpert – Latham & Watkins; Omar Ammash – Latham & Watkins; Héctor Armengod – Latham & Watkins; Austin Arnett – Latham & Watkins; Manasi Bhattacharyya – Latham & Watkins; James Brandt – Latham & Watkins; Cindy Caillavet Sinclair – Latham & Watkins; Les Carnegie – Latham & Watkins; Oliver Cohen – Latham & Watkins; Julie Crisp – Latham & Watkins; Nicholas DeNovio – Latham & Watkins; Zachary Eddington – Latham & Watkins; Michael Egge – Latham & Watkins; Bradley Faris – Latham & Watkins; Sean Finn – Latham & Watkins; Ellen Fischer – Latham & Watkins; Annie Froehlich – Latham & Watkins; Deborah Hinck – Latham & Watkins; Henna Jalal – Latham & Watkins; Lars Kjølbye – Latham & Watkins; Christopher Lueking – Latham & Watkins; Kevin McDonough – Latham & Watkins; Colin O’Regan – Latham & Watkins; Grant Page – Latham & Watkins; Sean Parish – Latham & Watkins; Daniel Rees – Latham & Watkins; Charles Ruck – Latham & Watkins; Max Schleusener – Latham & Watkins; Leah Segall – Latham & Watkins; Laurence Stein – Latham & Watkins; Benjamin Stern – Latham & Watkins; Tara Tavernia – Latham & Watkins; Jeffrey Tochner – Latham & Watkins; Noah Weiss – Latham & Watkins; Scott Westhoff – Latham & Watkins; Bradd Williamson – Latham & Watkins; Marcellus Williamson – Latham & Watkins; David Fitzgibbon – Matheson; David Jones – Matheson; Tim Scanlon – Matheson; Randy Bauslaugh – McCarthy Tétrault; Julien Beaulieu – McCarthy Tétrault; Michael Caldecott – McCarthy Tétrault; Jason Gudofsky – McCarthy Tétrault; Deborah Salzberger – McCarthy Tétrault; Deron Waldock – McCarthy Tétrault; Gregory Winfield – McCarthy Tétrault; Casey Halladay – McMillan; Joseph Coco – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Todd Freed – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Blair Thetford – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Michael Aiello – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; David Avery-Gee – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Karen Ballack – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Chelsea Berry – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Devon Bodoh – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Corey Chivers – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jenny Doak – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Daniel Dokos – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Alfonso Dulcey – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Daniel Evens – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Amanda Fenster – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Caroline Geiger – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Matthew Gilroy – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Luis Gonzalez – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Megan Granger – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Olivia Greer – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Sam Hulsey – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Maliha Ikram – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Alla Khabinskaya – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Vynessa Nemunaitis – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Steven Ort – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Joe Pari – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jeffrey Perry – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Amanda Rosenblum – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Amy Rubin – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Martin Weatherston-Wilson – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Paul Wessel – Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Law Firms: Arthur Cox; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Latham & Watkins; Matheson; McCarthy Tétrault; McMillan; Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Clients: Aon plc ; Willis Towers Watson PLC;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti