If it goes ahead, the deal would be the largest in sector history

Broker giant Aon is in early stage talks with Willis Towers Watson over a possible takeover, it confirmed on Tuesday evening.

In a public stock exchange filing, Aon said: “The Company emphasises that, at this point, its evaluation of a potential transaction is at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will take place nor as to the form or terms on which any transaction might be pursued.”

It added that a further announcement would be made in due course.

If it goes ahead, the deal would be the largest in sector history. Last year Marsh bought British broker JLT for £4.3bn in what was then the biggest deal to date.

The current prospective deal would need to surmount regulatory hurdles to go through.

The news saw WTW’s share price jump by 8% at one point, while Aon’s slumped by as much as 7%.