Aon to Divest Entire Zimbabwe Unit After 66 Years

Aon Plc, the world’s second-largest insurance broker by market value, agreed to sell Aon Zimbabwe Ltd. after the unit’s license was revoked by the African nation.

Aon Zimbabwe has been operating in the country for 66 years, making it the global brokerage’s oldest unit in Sub-Sahara Africa, the London-based parent company said today in a statement.

Zimbabwe’s two opposing political parties agreed last month on a new draft constitution that would allow President Robert Mugabe, 88, to try to extend his 33-year rule for another decade. Mugabe’s party has threatened to nationalize foreign-owned assets and pushed for a law that would require companies to sell 51 percent of their local assets to black Zimbabweans.

“Aon Plc has made a decision to sell its entire shareholding to a local entity,” Anton Roux, chief executive officer of Aon South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, said in the statement.

Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed. Aon said it will retain a presence in Zimbabwe to assist the new entity with technical expertise and resources “to ensure that the business will continue.”

Attempts to reach a represenative of Zimbabwe for comment by phone at the nation’s embassy in Washington weren’t immediately succesful.

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