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Aon, Willis to sell assets for $3.57 bln to gain EU approval for mega merger

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FILE PHOTO: An office building with the Aon logo is seen amid the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in the Central Business District of Sydney, Australia, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

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May 12 (Reuters) - London-based Aon Plc (AON.N) and Willis Towers Watson (WLTW.O) have agreed to sell some assets to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co (AJG.N) for $3.57 billion, in a bid to win EU antitrust approval for their merger that will create the world's No. 1 insurance broker.

The deal includes selling a swathe of Willis' assets, including its reinsurance arm, corporate risk and broking, and health and benefits services, the brokers said on Wednesday.

"The agreement resolves questions raised by the European Commission and is intended to address certain questions raised by regulators in certain other jurisdictions," the companies said in a statement.

Reuters reported last month that Aon is set to gain conditional EU antitrust approval for its $30 billion bid for Willis, citing people familiar with the matter. read more

The acquisition, the insurance sector's largest ever, unifies the second and third largest brokers globally into a company worth more than $90 billion, overtaking market leader Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc (MMC.N).

It comes at a time when insurers are facing rising claims and new threats from the global outbreak of coronavirus and climate change.

Aon, which clinched the deal a year ago, offered concessions to the European Commission in April.

The brokers said they are working to get additional regulatory approval in all relevant jurisdictions, including the United States, where regulators are conducting an independent review of the deal.

Aon and Willis put together insurance contracts for clients that involve a number of insurance providers, for anything from airlines to large sporting events.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli
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