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31 January 2018, 07:33 | Kenneth Drake
Reuters Alessia Pierdomenico
According to reports, Blackstone is looking to take a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters' $20bn financial and risk business, which supplies investment groups and banks with news, data and analytics. GIC could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reuters was unable to determine who would lead the new division.
Thomson Reuters' New York-listed shares surged more than 10 percent in pre-market trading to around $48 on Tuesday, ranking it among the top five percentage gainers before the bell.
Thomson Reuters, which is worth about $31 billion, is a Canadian news and financial information company that was formed by the merger of Thomson Corporation and Reuters Group, its British rival, in 2008. The company gave no more details.
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.
The new F&R company will make minimum annual payments of $325 million to Reuters to secure access to its news service, equating to nearly $10 billion. In 2016, Reuters reported $304 million revenue from its media business.
Thomson Reuters said it will use the bulk of the $17 billion proceeds from the transaction, estimated at $9 billion to $11 billion, to buy back shares in a bid/tender offer to all common shareholders on the close of the transaction. Using the proceeds, the company expects to pay down sufficient outstanding debt to remain below its target net debt-to-EBITDA leverage ratio of 2.5x (debt repayment estimated at approximately $3 billion). According to a regulatory filing last month, Woodbridge holds 63.6% of Thomson Reuters shares.
Blackstone has some experience in the information business.
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