Willis Group Holdings announced that its reorganization has been completed and the new parent company of the Willis Group – known as Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company (PLC) – is incorporated in Ireland. Willis first announced the reorganization in September (See IJ web site – https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2009/09/21/103908.htm ].
The transaction was completed following receipt of the required approval from the Supreme Court of Bermuda, and after certain other consents, approvals and waivers were received. The Willis Group parent company was previously incorporated in Bermuda.
Willis noted that it has “had ongoing operations in Ireland since 1903, and currently is one of the country’s largest insurance brokers. The company employs approximately 300 people in offices in Dublin, Limerick and Cork.”
Willis, however, will no doubt continue to direct its principal operations from its headquarters in London and in New York.
Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Plumeri commented: “Incorporating in Ireland provides Willis with economic benefits that will help ensure our continued global competitiveness. Furthermore, this move underscores our strong commitment to the Irish market and our determination to be a significant part of its growth potential as an important financial and insurance center.”
On the technical side, Willis also noted that as a result of the reorganization, “common shares in Willis Group Holdings Limited were cancelled and ordinary shares in Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company were issued to all shareholders on a one-for-one basis. The common shareholders of Willis Group Holdings Limited have become ordinary shareholders of Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company and Willis Group Holdings Limited has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company.
“Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on January 4, 2010, under the symbol “WSH,” the same symbol under which Willis Group Holdings Limited shares traded. Willis will continue to be subject to United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting requirements, prepare its financial statements and pay dividends in U.S. dollars, and be subject to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).”
Source: Willis Group Holdings PLC – www.willis.com