The COVID-19 was excluded from potential triggers of a material adverse effect that could scuttle the deal.
Normally, tumultuous markets are bad for mergers and acquisitions, since valuations are hard to pin down. That didn’t stop UK insurance broker Aon last month from offering nearly $30 billion in an all-stock deal for rival Willis Towers Watson in the biggest M&A deal of the year to date and the largest ever in the insurance industry.
The combined company, which will keep the Aon name and will be based in London, will have a market value of approximately $80 billion. It would combine the world’s second- and third-largest insurance brokers, creating a new number one, bigger than the current leader, Marsh & McLennan.
According to terms of the deal, Aon must pay $1 billion to Willis Towers if the deal falls through. The COVID-19 was excluded from potential triggers of a material adverse effect that could scuttle the deal.
Credit Suisse advised Aon, while Goldman Sachs advised Willis Towers.