KKR, Others To Sell $400 Million in Willis Shares

October 31, 2001

Five months after an initial public stock offering, the controlling shareholders of international insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, led by management buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., have filed a registration statement with the SEC for a secondary public offering of $400 million worth of their shares.

The move was not unexpected, especially as the shares have risen over 70 percent in value above the $13.50 offering price. In addition to KKR, France’s AXA, the U.K.’s Royal & Sun Alliance, Japan’s Tokio Marine & Fire and U.S. insurers Chubb Corp., Hartford Financial and Travelers have stakes in Willis. While the SEC filing would indicate the number of shares each stakeholder intends to sell, the company’s announcement did not give details relating to the filing.

Willis also announced that it had posted a third quarter net loss of $81 million, approximately 55 cents a share, due largely to a charge of $145 million to cover the cost of management stock options. It’s shares closed at $23.24, down more than 7 percent in trading yesterday.

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