Blackstone considers buying 55% stake in largest unit of Thomson Reuters

by Susie Olson January 31, 2018, 7:35
Blackstone considers buying 55% stake in largest unit of Thomson Reuters

The payments - which would amount to nearly $10 billion over three decades - would be made by the new Financial and Risk company for Reuters news content, the sources said.

Blackstone Group, the USA private equity giant, is in advanced discussions to buy part of Thomson Reuters.

Under the acquisition, Blackstone will own a 55 per cent stake in a newly hived off Thomson Reuters F&R business, the statement said.

"This investment in F&R will broaden our portfolio in the growing financial technology space".

Blackstone's investment, if finalized, will put the buyout firm in direct competition with Bloomberg LP as well as News Corp's Dow Jones division in selling data services, analytical and trading tools to Wall Street.

Thomson Reuters, which is based in Toronto, said it would retain a significant interest in the financial and risk business after any deal and would retain full ownership of its legal, tax and accounting, and news operations.

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A disposal of the financial and risk business would mark the biggest restructuring of Reuters since Canada's Thomson took over the company in 2008. "We believe F&R is well positioned within Thomson Reuters, but it could be even stronger with a partner like Blackstone".

On January 30, 2018, the Thomson Reuters board of directors approved maintaining the dividend at $1.38 per common share.

The company has also sought to sell non-core assets, including its intellectual property and science business, which it sold to private equity firms Onex Corp and Baring Private Equity Asia for $3.55 billion in 2016.

Reuters also makes money selling news to broadcasters, websites, newspapers, and other media organisations around the world. According to a regulatory filing last month, Woodbridge holds 63.6% of Thomson Reuters shares.

Thomson Reuters (TRI) announced the company expects to meet its previously announced outlook for 2017, and reported its expectations for the fourth-quarter and full-year ended December 31, 2017.


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