Economy

Blackstone in 'advanced talks' to buy $17bn stake in Thomson Reuters unit

Blackstone in 'advanced talks' to buy $17bn stake in Thomson Reuters unit

Under the terms of the Blackstone offer, Thomson Reuters would retain a 45 percent stake in the F&R business as part of a partnership with the USA buyout firm, according to the sources.

Thomson Reuters, the news and digital information company, said on Tuesday that it was in advanced discussions with the private equity giant Blackstone Group regarding a "potential partnership" with its financial and risk business.

Thomson Reuters said it would retain a significant interest in the business as part of any proposed partnership.

Kim Williams, chairman of the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, was not available for immediate comment. Reuters News will continue to have complete editorial independence from F&R and Thomson Reuters, as it does today.

Thomson Reuters would hold on to its global news service, Reuters, along with its Legal and Tax and Accounting divisions.

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.

More news: Elon Musk company selling $500 flamethrowers

Thomson Reuters expects the transaction to close in the second half of 2018.

Martin Brand, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said the F&R division "has tremendous assets, including a world-leading data business, essential risk and compliance solutions, OTC trading venues, wealth management software, and a strong desktop business".

Canada's Thomson family controls more than 63 percent of Thomson Reuters shares through Woodbridge Co Ltd.

Blackstone, which already has business relationships with most of the major banks on Wall Street, bought a small financial information business, Ipreo, in 2014.

America's largest private equity firm is seeking to enter the market for traders' terminals via a $17 billion partnership with Thomson Reuters.


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