(Bloomberg) -- Willis Group Holdings Plc, the third-largest insurance broker, agreed to buy the 70 percent of Gras Savoye that it doesn’t already own to expand in France, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Willis will pay 550 million euros ($590 million), a sum that includes the repayment of outstanding third-party debt, the London-based buyer said Wednesday in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Dominic Casserley has been pursuing acquisitions to extend Willis’s geographic reach and add customers seeking coverage for specialized risks. Willis announced a deal in January to buy Miller Insurance Services to work with clients in industries including shipping, construction and energy. Casserley added the Max Matthiessen business last year to bolster operations in the Nordic region.

“Gras Savoye’s expertise in key sectors and prominence in high-growth markets would be aligned and connected with Willis’s specialisms and global capabilities, creating distinctive product and service offerings,” Willis said in the statement.

  

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