Aon Announces Additional $5.0 Billion Share Repurchase Program, Increasing Total Authorization to $6.1 Billion
DUBLIN, Nov. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Aon plc (NYSE:AON) (“Aon”) announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a new $5.0 billion share repurchase program. The program is in addition to Aon’s existing share repurchase program previously authorized in February 2017, which had approximately $1.1 billion of remaining authorization, as of September 30, 2020. Aon intends to complete the existing program before repurchasing shares under the newly authorized program.
“We are committed to maintaining our strong position of financial stability and flexibility, while continuing to allocate capital to the highest ROIC opportunities,” said Greg Case, Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our conviction in our colleagues’ ability to drive long-term growth of the firm, which we believe will be further accelerated by our pending combination with Willis Towers Watson and result in significant shareholder value creation.”
Including the newly authorized program, up to $6.1 billion of Aon’s Class A ordinary shares may be purchased from time to time on the open market, in block trades, in privately negotiated transactions, pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 plans or otherwise, depending on market conditions or other factors. The program does not obligate Aon to acquire any particular amount of shares and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.
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This communication contains certain statements related to future results, or states Aon’s intentions, beliefs and expectations or predictions for the future which are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from either historical or anticipated results depending on a variety of factors. These forward-looking statements include information about Aon’s new and existing share repurchase programs. All statements, other than statements of historical facts that address activities, events or developments that Aon expects or anticipates may occur in the future, including such things as its outlook, future capital expenditures, growth in commissions and fees, changes to the composition or level of its revenues, cash flow and liquidity, expected tax rates, business strategies, competitive strengths, goals, the benefits of new initiatives, growth of its business and operations, plans and references to future successes, are forward-looking statements. Also, when Aon uses the words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “probably”, “potential”, “looking forward”, or similar expressions, it is making forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward looking statements: general economic and political conditions in different countries in which Aon does business around the world, including the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union; changes in the competitive environment or damage to Aon’s reputation; fluctuations in exchange and interest rates that could influence revenue and expenses; changes in global equity and fixed income markets that could affect the return on invested assets; changes in the funding status of Aon’s various defined benefit pension plans and the impact of any increased pension funding resulting from those changes; the level of Aon’s debt limiting financial flexibility or increasing borrowing costs; rating agency actions that could affect Aon’s ability to borrow funds; volatility in Aon’s tax rate due to a variety of different factors, including U.S. tax reform; changes in estimates or assumptions on Aon’s financial statements; limits on Aon’s subsidiaries to make dividend and other payments to Aon; the impact of lawsuits and other contingent liabilities and loss contingencies arising from errors and omissions and other claims against Aon; the impact of, and potential challenges in complying with, legislation and regulation in the jurisdictions in which Aon operates, particularly given the global scope of Aon’s businesses and the possibility of conflicting regulatory requirements across jurisdictions in which Aon does business; the impact of any investigations brought by regulatory authorities in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries; the impact of any inquiries relating to compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and non-U.S. anti-corruption laws and with U.S. and non-U.S. trade sanctions regimes; failure to protect intellectual property rights or allegations that Aon infringes on the intellectual property rights of others; the effects of Irish law on Aon’s operating flexibility and the enforcement of judgments against Aon; the failure to retain and attract qualified personnel; international risks associated with Aon’s global operations; the effects of natural or man-made disasters, including the effects of COVID-19 and other health pandemics; the potential of a system or network breach or disruption resulting in operational interruption or improper disclosure of personal data; Aon’s ability to develop and implement new technology; the damage to Aon’s reputation among clients, markets or third parties; the actions taken by third parties that perform aspects of Aon’s business operations and client services; the extent to which Aon manages certain risks created in connection with the services, including fiduciary and investments, consulting, and other advisory services, among others, that Aon currently provides, or will provide in the future, to clients; Aon’s ability to continue, and the costs and the costs and risks associated with, growing, developing and integrating companies that it acquires or new lines of business; changes in commercial property and casualty markets, commercial premium rates or methods of compensation; changes in the health care system or Aon’s relationships with insurance carriers; Aon’s ability to implement initiatives intended to yield cost savings, and the ability to achieve those cost savings; Aon’s ability to realize the expected benefits from its restructuring plan; the possibility that the Combination will not be consummated; failure to obtain necessary shareholder or regulatory approvals or to satisfy any of the other conditions to the Combination; adverse effects on the market price of Aon’s securities and/or operating results for any reason, including, without limitation, because of the failure to consummate the Combination; the failure to realize the expected benefits of the Combination (including anticipated revenue and growth synergies); the failure to effectively integrate the combined companies following the Combination; significant transaction and integration costs or difficulties in connection with the Combination and or unknown or inestimable liabilities; potential litigation associated with the Combination; potential impact of the announcement or consummation of the Combination on relationships, including with suppliers, customers, employees and regulators; and general economic, business and political conditions (including any epidemic, pandemic or disease outbreak, including COVID-19) that affect the combined companies following the consummation of the Combination.
Any or all of Aon’s forward-looking statements may turn out to be inaccurate, and there are no guarantees about Aon’s performance. The factors identified above are not exhaustive. Aon and its subsidiaries operate in a dynamic business environment in which new risks may emerge frequently. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made. Further information concerning Aon and its businesses, including factors that potentially could materially affect Aon’s financial results, is contained in Aon’s filings with the SEC. See Aon’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020 , and September 30, 2020 for a further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties applicable to Aon and its businesses. These factors may be revised or supplemented in subsequent reports. Aon is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statement that it may make from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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