European Commission clears Towers Perrin/Watson Wyatt merger on condition that VIPitech sold

Consulting firms Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt have had their merger granted conditional clearance from the European Commission. The antitrust authorities in teh United States had already cleared the deal.

The merger is now expected to close on 1 January 2010.

As part of the European Commission’s clearance decision, Watson Wyatt has committed to sell its life insurance actuarial software business, VIPitech. However, the European Commission has agreed that the merged company may retain a license to use the VIPitech software, so it can keep clients that have implemented this software.

Watson Wyatt is currently preparing the VIPitech business for sale.

“This is a key milestone in our progress toward completing the transaction that will bring together our two firms,” said John Haley, Watson Wyatt Chief Executive Officer who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Towers Watson. “We are very pleased to have received clearance from the Commission on a timescale which will allow the companies to continue plans to finalise the merger by the end of this year. While we are disappointed that we could not retain VIPitech, we are committed to ensuring that VIPitech is sold as a viable business and that all of our VIPitech clients remain fully supported.”