Willis Nets Needed Cash In $700M Gras Savoye LBO

Law360, New York (November 19, 2009, 2:24 PM EST) -- Willis Group Holdings Ltd. has struck a deal to shift a portion of its ownership stake in leading French insurance broker Gras Savoye & Cie to private equity firm Astorg Parters as part of a $700 million leveraged buyout transaction, giving Willis access to $160 million in cash and breathing room in its balance sheet.

The companies on Wednesday announced the deal, in which Willis, Astorg and original family shareholders of Gras Savoye will each own stakes of roughly one-third in a new holding company set...
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