Aon's merger with Willis Towers Watson is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, said John Haley, CEO of Willis Towers Watson.
“In March last year, when we first announced (the merger), we had said we expected to close in the first half of 2021,” Haley said during a call from analysts to disclose the broker's 2020 preparations. to make. "That's because this is a complex process as filings are required around the world. We are still on track to close in the first half of 2021. We still expect to meet that deadline."
The two brokers are still awaiting the outcome of the European Commission's antitrust review of the proposed $ 30 billion deal.
During the analysts' call, Haley said that nothing has happened to indicate a change in the time frame for the merger.
However, the European Commission revealed on February 8 that it was stopping the clock in its in-depth investigation into the proposed combination of Aon and Willis Tower Watson. "This procedure in merger investigations is triggered if the parties fail to provide in a timely manner an important piece of information requested by the Commission," said a spokesman for the committee.
“In order to meet the merger deadlines, the parties must provide the necessary information for the investigation in good time. If you do not do this, the committee will stop the clock. Once the missing information has been provided by the parties, the clock will restart and the deadline for the committee's decision will be adjusted accordingly, & # 39; & # 39 ;, the spokesman added.
During the analysts' call, Hayley said that once the regulatory approvals are received, the key will be to make sure that "the integration is running properly and that we get off the ground – both on the first day and in the time immediately thereafter. . "
"We've worked very good teams on that," Haley continued, noting that the recent announcement of the top structure and top positions on the executive committee was an important milestone. "We just need people who stay focused to make sure we design the business the best we can for future success."
WTW announced revenue of $ 2.76 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020, up 3% (1% increase in constant currency and 2% increase organically), compared to $ 2.69 billion for the same period last year. For the year ended December 31, 2020, revenue was $ 9.35 billion, up 3% (4% increase in constant currency and 2% increase organically), compared to $ 9.04 billion in the same period last year .
Income from operations for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $ 587 million, or 21.2% of revenue, down 430 basis points, compared to $ 687 million reported for the same period last year. For the year ended December 31, 2020, operating income was $ 1.2 billion, or 12.6% of revenue, down 210 basis points, compared to $ 1.3 billion reported for 2019.
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