British re/insurance brokerage firm Aon is reportedly planning to submit a $24bn offer for its rival Willis Towers Watson to further strengthen its presence in the UK market with an acquisition.

Sourced familiar with development were quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the companies have held preliminary discussions and Aon is preparing to submit a bid in the coming weeks.

Confirming the development, Aon in a statement said: “The company confirms that it is in the early stages of considering an all-share business combination with Willis Towers Watson.

“The company emphasises that, at this point, its evaluation of a potential transaction is at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will take place nor as to the form or terms on which any transaction might be pursued. A further announcement will be made in due course, as appropriate.”

Aon will emerge as one of the largest brokers in the world if the proposed transaction materialises and can overtake Marsh & McLennan as the world’s largest brokerage by revenue, according to Bloomberg.

Willis Towers was established in 2016 after Willis Group acquired the consultancy Towers Watson & Co for around $8.9bn.

Focus on the London Market

Aon and Willis Towers both have headquarters in London and maintains a large presence in the US.

In 2012, Aon announced that it was relocating its corporate headquarters from Chicago to London. The relocation was aimed at gaining better access to the Lloyd’s of London insurance market and some emerging economies.