Blackstone acquires Aon’s technology-enabled benefits & HR platform

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Aon and the new, stand-alone company will continue to work together on behalf of shared clients and prospects.

 

The American PE firm, Blackstone, recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aon plc’s technology-enabled benefits and HR platform, currently part of Aon Hewitt. The deal has been inked for a cash consideration of up to $4.8 billion, including $4.3 billion at closing and an additional consideration of up to $500 million based on future performance.

Aon’s benefits administration platform and cloud-based HR management systems serve approximately 15 per cent of the working population in the US, across more than 1,400 companies. Aon and the new, stand-alone company will continue to work together on behalf of shared clients and prospects.

Talking of the agreement, Peter Wallace, senior managing director, Blackstone, said, “We are excited to acquire a world-class leader of scale in health, retirement and HR services, providing critical human resources and benefits administration services to millions of employees and their families throughout the United States and Canada. We look forward to working with the excellent management team to continue to invest in and grow the company.”

Sharing the future plans about the partnership, David Kestnbaum, managing director, Blackstone, said, “Through this investment and partnership, we will seek to leverage our global relationships, operational support, and strong capital base to accelerate growth in the business. Our focus will be to ensure continued delivery of best-in-class services to clients, while also innovating new service lines and strategies to expand the company’s capabilities.”

As Blackstone and Aon look forward to working together, president & CEO- Aon plc, Greg Case said, “We believe that this platform will thrive under Blackstone’s ownership as a focussed, standalone company and look forward to working with the proficient management team to support our shared clients and prospects.”

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and SMB Capital are acting as financial advisors to Blackstone with respect to the transaction, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as Blackstone’s legal counsel.  Morgan Stanley is the financial advisor to Aon with respect to the transaction, and Sidley Austin LLP the legal counsel.  Debt financing related to the transaction is being provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Macquarie, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. 

Aon’s Chris Michalak, CEO of the new, standalone business said, “The opportunity before us is tremendous. Under new ownership with Blackstone, our clients will benefit from increased focus, innovation and investment in our already market-leading benefits and HR administration solutions. I am excited to lead our team of 22,000 colleagues forward into this new era with Blackstone.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

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