) --

Marsh & McLennan

(MMC) - Get Report

plans to acquire HSBC Insurance Brokers, a unit of the U.K.'s



, for 135 million pounds ($218.6 million) in stock and cash.

Marsh & McLennan also entered an agreement in which it will have preferred access to provide insurance broking and risk management services to HSBC's corporate and private clients.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010.

HSBC Insurance has 30 offices in the U.K., Middle East and Asia.

"As one of the U.K.'s leading insurance brokers, HIBL's activities dovetail excellently with our own, from an operational, cultural and geographic standpoint," said Alex Moczarski, president of Marsh's international division, in a statement Friday. "This is a strong complementary fit and will deepen our global presence in high growth areas."

>>See our new stock quote page.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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