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Aon plans takeover of Willis Towers in $30B all-stock deal

Aon is buying rival benefits and risk consultant Willis Towers Watson in an all-stock deal valued at around $30 billion.

Aon said Monday that it will give Willis Towers stock owners slightly more than one Aon share for each of their shares in what amounts to a 16% premium to the stock’s closing price Friday.

The new company will be run by Aon Plc CEO Greg Case and remain based in that company’s London headquarters. It will retain the Aon name. Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley will become executive chairman.

The deal announcement comes nearly a year after Aon said it was no longer considering a buyout of Willis Towers.

The companies say they expect savings of $267 million in the combination’s first full year. They expect the deal to close in the first half of 2021, but shareholders must first approve it.

U.S.-traded shares of Aon plunged 16% to $180.48 in midday trading Monday while broader indexes roughly 5%. Willis Towers Watson shares fell more than 7% to $185.14.

The Associated Press