Merger Word International Business Combination New CompanyShareholders from Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson approved the planned $8.9 billion merger between both companies, setting the stage for the deal to close in early 2016.

In approving the merger, shareholders signed off on a series of proposals, including the new name of the combined companies: Willis Towers Watson, which takes effect once the M&A deal closes.

CEOs of both companies reiterated their support for the deal and what will happen once both entities join together.

“We are confident that combining Towers Watson and Willis will accelerate both companies’ long-term strategies and create substantial incremental value for shareholders, Towers Watson Chairman and CEO John Haley said in prepared remarks. Haley will remain CEO for the combined company.

Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis, added, also in prepared remarks, that both sides are already focused on creating a new, post-merger framework.

“We are focused on completing the transaction, successfully integrating the businesses and realizing the combination’s full value creation potential,” Casserley said.

In late November, Willis boosted its Towers Watson merger offer to $8.9 billion after its investors pushed for a better deal, arguing that the initial June M&A agreement was not adequate.

The push for a better offer was strong enough that Willis, a consulting firm, postponed a scheduled Nov. 18 shareholder vote as proxy advisory firms and investors made their opposition known.

Willis shareholders will hold about 50.1 percent of the combined company.

Source: Willis/Towers Watson

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions