Major Sale in the 401k Benefits Space

Will become a new standalone business

Blackstone buys Aon.Blackstone buys Aon.

Private equity firm Blackstone said Friday that it will buy acquire Aon’s HR and benefits platform for a whopping $4.8 billion.

Aon claims it’s the largest benefits administration platform in the United States, and serves approximately 15 percent of the U.S. working population 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.

“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,” Peter Wallace, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said in a statement. “Blackstone sees tremendous opportunity for investing in leading businesses within the technology-enabled services sector, where we believe there is a significant opportunity to accelerate future growth.  We look forward to working with the excellent management team to continue to invest in and grow the company.”

The company will evolve into a new standalone business run by Aon’s Chris Michalak.

“The opportunity before us is tremendous,” Michalak added. “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.”

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 acting as financial advisor to Aon with respect to the transaction, and Sidley Austin LLP is acting as Aon’s legal counsel. Debt financing related to the transaction is being provided by BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Macquarie, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley.

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

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