MMC Rebuffs Bid for Kroll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc (MMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's largest insurance brokerage, has turned away a private equity firm that expressed interest in buying Kroll, a risk consultancy unit, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Private equity firm BC Partners recently sent Chief Executive Brian Duperreault a letter expressing interest in the unit, but the approach was immediately rejected, the person said.

An MMC spokeswoman declined to comment and a spokesman for BC Partners did not immediately return calls.

Duperreault was named chief executive in January after former Kroll executive Michael Cherkasky was ousted from the position. Shortly after his appointment, Duperreault told investors he was scrutinizing how Kroll fit into the group and whether it was a good match.

In March, MMC moved to split off Kroll's corporate advisory unit into a separate business to be led by Simon Freakley, who had been CEO of Kroll. Ben Allen, who was chief operating officer for Kroll, assumed the CEO post at that time.

Kroll was acquired by MMC about four years ago for $1.9 billion, under the watch of former chief executive Jeffrey Greenberg.

MMC shares were 2.1 percent higher, or up 58 cents, at $28.17 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Lilla Zuill; Editing by Brian Moss/Andre Grenon)