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JLT, Marsh offer to sell unit to ease EU concerns

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(Reuters) – Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc and its buyer Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc have offered to sell JLT’s global aerospace unit to get a green light from the European Commission for the takeover, the British insurance broker said on Monday.

Marsh agreed to buy British rival JLT for $5.7 billion (4.3 billion pounds) in September to expand its global presence and increase focus on faster-growing niche insurance areas.

JLT said on Monday it would sell its unit to insurance broker Arthur J Gallagher & Co for about 190 million pounds, easing competition concerns as the European Commission conducts a “Phase I” review of the deal.

JLT’s acquisition by Marsh remains on track to close in the spring of 2019, the British broker said, adding that the sale of the aerospace unit was subject to approval by the European Commission.

The aerospace unit employs 260 people and offers insurance cover for commercial airlines, helicopters, business jets, aerospace manufacturers, airports, aerospace service providers, satellites and even unmanned aerial vehicles and drones.

The proposed takeover of JLT is the latest in a series of deals in the insurance sector, which is struggling with stagnating premiums as insurers compete ruthlessly to win market share. Brokers, which get most of their revenue from commission on premiums, have felt the knock-on effect.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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