Insurance broker Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson have agreed to an all-stock merger of equals transaction. The combined company will be called Willis Towers Watson.

Based on the closing prices of Willis and Towers Watson common stock on June 29, the implied equity value of the deal is about US$18 billion.

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The combined company will have about 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries, and pro forma revenue of about US$8.2 billion.

“These are two companies with world-class brands and shared values,” says Willis CEO Dominic Casserley. “We will advise over 80% of the world’s top-1000 companies, as well as having a significant presence with mid-market and smaller employers around the world.”

Upon completion of the merger, Willis shareholders will own about 50.1% and Towers Watson shareholders will own about 49.9% of the combined company.

Towers Watson CEO John Haley will be the CEO of the combined company while Casserley will be president and deputy CEO.

After the deal closes, which is expected by the end of the year, the combined company will maintain its domicile in Ireland.

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