Targeted Strategies for Today's Evolving Markets

MissionIR Blog

Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. (HRH) To Be Bought Out By Willis Group Holdings Ltd. (WSH)

A Virginia employee benefits firm with a major presence in Central Ohio on Monday announced a buyout deal with global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd. (WSH).

Richmond, Va.-based Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. (HRH) said it will be acquired by London-based Willis Group in a deal valued at $2.1 billion. Willis will buy all outstanding Hilb Rogal stock for $46 a share, representing a 49-percent premium over the firm’s Friday close of $30.89.

Hilb Rogal entered the Central Ohio market in 2001 with the purchase of Berwanger Overmyer Associates. The company, ranked last year as Central Ohio’s largest independent insurance agency, in 2007 recorded about $304 million in area-written premiums.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending Hilb Rogal shareholder and regulatory approval. Willis said the deal will more than double its North American revenue in its employee benefits sector, an area it has targeted for further growth. Annual savings, as a result of the acquisition, are expected to hit $100 million in 2009, while the company expects to take a one-time $75 million hit related to merger costs.

The new company in North America will be renamed Willis HRH after the transaction closes. Willis Group has more than 300 offices in 100 countries, employing about 16,000. The company in 2007 recorded $409 in profit on $2.58 billion in revenue. Hilb Rogal has more than 140 offices worldwide, employing about 120 in Central Ohio and nearly 3,900 companywide. The company in 2007 recorded $78.1 million in profit on $799.7 million in revenue.

Let us hear your thoughts below:

This entry was posted in Small Cap News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *