Watson Wyatt, Tower Perrin Merge

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Watson Wyatt Worldwide and Towers Perrin Forster & Crosby announced yesterday that they will merge in a $3.5 billion stock deal. Reuters has more:

Under terms of the deal, Watson Wyatt shareholders will receive 50 percent of the shares in the combined company, which will be named Towers Watson & Co. Towers Perrin shareholders and some designated employees will be entitled to the other 50 percent of the shares, though on a restricted basis. It was unclear which company would own the other.

The deal, which will create a combined company with annual revenue of more than $3 billion and a possible workforce of more than 14,000 employees, could put pressure on rivals such as Hewitt Associates and Mercer, which is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

It will take three years to achieve savings of $80 million through job cuts and the streamlining of overlapping operations, and the companies expect one-time costs of $80 million from the merger and “significant noncash expenses” for the first two years.