Willis Group Holdings Plc, the world’s third-largest insurance broker, and risk adviser Towers Watson & Co. agreed to an all-stock merger creating a firm with a combined market value of $18 billion.

Insurance consolidation has been proliferating for years, underscored by many middle-market transactions. In June, J.C. Flowers agreed to buy health insurance provider AmeriLife Group, and before that, in May, PE-backed Confie Seguros picked up three insurers in Buffalo, New York. 

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