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Willis to Merge With Towers Watson in $8.7 Billion Deal

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Willis Group Holdings Plc, the third-largest insurance broker, agreed to merge with Towers Watson & Co. to add consulting operations and help take on larger U.S. rivals.

Shareholders of the broker will own 50.1 percent of the combined company, which will be domiciled in Ireland, lowering taxes for U.S.-based Towers Watson. Investors of the consulting company will get 2.649 Willis shares and a one-time cash dividend of $4.87 for each share they own, the companies said Tuesday. Based on the broker’s closing price Monday, the deal values Towers Watson at about $8.7 billion.