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Willis to acquire 75% stake in Swedish adviser Max Matthiessen

Global risk advisor and insurance broker Willis Group Holdings (WSH) has reached an agreement to purchase a controlling stake of nearly 75% in Max Matthiessen, an employee benefits adviser in Sweden, for $205m.


Currently, Max Matthiessen employees own 50% equity stake of the firm, whereas the remaining 50% shareholding is held by Altor Fund III.

In accordance with the terms of the transaction, Willis will pay $205m to acquire almost 75% of Max Matthiessen with employees retaining a stake of approximately 25%.

The proposed takeover is part of Willis’ strategy to build its global Human Capital and Benefits practice in the medium term. It also reflects its plan of driving growth through acquisition of businesses with strong franchises and distinctive skills.

WSH noted that the acquisition will complement and boost its existing operations in Sweden, making the combined entity one of the largest risk advisers and brokers in the Nordic region and the largest international adviser in Sweden.

Max Matthiessen, which has a team of nearly 420 staff operating out of 23 locations across Sweden, generated net revenues of $122m in 2013.

Following completion of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, the Max Matthiessen brand and culture will be retained and will run alongside Willis Sweden.

Additionally, Max Matthiessen will benefit from Willis’ global reach and experience, while Willis will continue to draw on Max Matthiessen’s deep product expertise in employee benefits within and beyond Sweden.

Willis Group CEO Dominic Casserley said: "Willis is committed to growing in areas of opportunity for market leadership and where we can develop specialised capabilities locally and globally."

"Max Matthiessen fits that model perfectly. We are confident that the combination of Willis and Max Matthiessen can fuel growth in both Sweden and beyond."

Willis Group manages its operation with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices.
Image: The Willis Building in London. Photo" courtesy of Colin.