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

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

United States private equity firm Blackstone Group LP catapulted itself into the big leagues of Wall Street's financial information industry on Tuesday with the acquisition of a majority stake in the Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters Corp. Thomson Reuters will retain a 45 per cent holding and will receive approximately $17 billion, including about $3 billion in cash and $14 billion of debt and preferred equity issued by the new business, the companies said. A deal would give Thomson Reuters a world-leading private-equity firm as a partner to bring in more capital, potentially for consolidation, DeGroote said.

Kim Williams, chairman of the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, was not available for immediate comment.

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

Reuters was unable to determine who would lead the new division.

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Thomson Reuters will also maintain full ownership of its Legal, Tax & Accounting and the Reuters News businesses.

Thomson Reuters shares have retreated since October after third-quarter revenue missed analysts' estimates.

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. The company will sell a 55% majority stake in its F&R business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone.

The F&R business provides information for financial markets professionals as well as regulatory and risk management solutions.

The Thomson family controls around 63% of the stock through its Woodbridge Co vehicle.

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