Looking to diversify it services portfolio, Chicago-based Aon Corp. is acquiring New York-based Hewitt Associates Inc. for $4.9 billion in cash and stock.

With the purchase, Aon acquires a HR consulting and outsourcing firm with more than 3,000 clients across the globe. The companies predict immediate synergies, noting their combined client base will provide significant cross-sell opportunities to leverage Hewitt's predominantly large corporate client base with Aon's largely middle market client base. Upon the close of the transaction, Aon will integrate Hewitt with its existing consulting and outsourcing operations, Aon Consulting, and operate the segment globally under the newly created Aon Hewitt brand.

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