Watson Wyatt & Co. is buying the remaining 80% of Reigate, England-based Watson Wyatt LLP from its partners in a cash-and-shares deal worth $451 million, said John Haley, president and CEO of Watson Wyatt & Co.
WW & Co. already owns 20% of the U.K. firm. The combined company will be called Watson Wyatt Worldwide once the deal is completed, which is expected in June.
Full ownership will make it easier for the firm to more efficiently raise finance from the capital markets, said Mr. Haley. The firm is looking for acquisitions in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region, and hopes to market Watson Wyatt LLP's insurance and financial services consulting business in the United States.
Mr. Haley will be CEO of the combined organization; Babloo Ramamurthy, a senior partner in WW LLP, will be CEO of the European business and will report to Mr. Haley.