Thomson Reuters Corp. has entered into a partnership agreement with a group including Canada’s largest pension fund to assume a 55 per cent equity stake in its financial and risk business — a deal valued at $24.7 billion.
“Today’s announcement reflects the strength of the F&R business and its future potential,” said Jim Smith, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters in a statement.
“The transaction will provide immediate value to Thomson Reuters shareholders and our ownership interest in F&R will enable Thomson Reuters to participate in the future upside of the business.”
The consortium is led by U.S.-based private equity firm Blackstone and also includes global investment firm GIC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Information for market professionals
All three stakeholders expressed excitement over partnering with Thomson Reuters to gain access to its F&R business, which provides information for financial markets professionals, as well as regulatory and risk management solutions.
The business, which competes with Bloomberg and other smaller players to provide financial information, had $6.1 billion in revenue in 2016.
“This investment in F&R will broaden our portfolio in the growing financial technology space. We are very pleased to support the evolution of a global market leader,” Ryan Selwood, managing director of CPPIB, said in a statement.
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.”
“As a long-term value investor, we believe this business transformation will enable F&R to focus on its core customer base and be in a strong position to continue delivering innovative products to the market,” said Choo Yong Cheen, chief investment officer of private equity at GIC.
Thomson Reuters said earlier Tuesday that it would retain full ownership of its legal, tax and accounting and Reuters News businesses when details of a possible merger first emerged.
As part of the deal, the new F&R group will enter into a 30-year contract for the exclusive rights to distribute Reuters News through all F&R products. Reuters News will continue to have complete editorial independence from F&R and Thomson Reuters, as it does today.
In 2016, Thomson Reuters sold its science and intellectual property division to Onex Corp. and Baring Private Equity Asia.
The Thomson family holds a controlling interest in Thomson Reuters through Woodbridge Co. Ltd., which also owns the Globe and Mail newspaper.
Woodbridge held a roughly 63 per cent stake in Thomson Reuters as of Oct. 31, 2017.
Thomson Reuters is expected to report its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 8.