Two of the three biggest global re/insurance brokers will not combine, at least for now, Aon has stated

A broking merger will not take place between two rival re/insurance intermediaries, Aon has clarified.

Aon has confirmed that despite interest in acquiring Willis Towers Watson it had decided against a deal.

“Aon today confirms that it does not intend to pursue this business combination,” Aon said.

The broker had disclosed in an earlier regulatory filing that talks had taken place about a deal with Willis Towers Watson, the third largest re/insurance intermediary globally.

“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,” a statement from Aon said.

“Aon had considered such a possibility with regard to Willis Towers Watson,” the broker said.

The deal discussions followed last year’s $5.6bn merger announcement combining Marsh & McLennan Companies with smaller rival JLT.

The combination of Aon and Willis would have resulted in a market capitalisation of more than $60bn between the two groups. 

Compliance concerns compelled Aon’s latest statement, following initial reportage, specifically Rule 2.8 of Ireland’s Takeover Rules.

“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,” the broker said.

“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 added.

Aon has left the door open to future talks with its broking rival. 

“Aon reserves the right within the next 12 months to set aside this announcement where so permitted under Rule 2.8 (including Rule 2.8(c)(ii)).” Aon concluded.