NU Online News Service, Jan. 19, 2005, 9:53 a.m. EST

A U.S. benefits consulting company has agreed to buy the shares of a British affiliate that it does not already own.[@@]

The U.S. company, Watson Wyatt & Company, Washington, already owns 20% of the stock of Watson Wyatt L.L.P., Surrey, Redhill, United Kingdom, and 45 individual partners own the rest.

The U.S. company now plans to use $451 million in cash and stock to buy out the partners, the companies say.

Watson Wyatt L.L.P. was formed in 1995, when the Wyatt Company, a U.S. firm, acquired a British benefits consulting firm, R Watson & Sons.