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Blackstone and Others Acquire 55% Stake in Reuters' F&R Unit

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Private equity funds managed by The Blackstone Group L.P. BX, along with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”) and GIC, have completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk (F&R) business. The deal, which was announced in January 2018, received EU approval a few months ago.

Per the partnership agreement, a consortium led by Blackstone now owns 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ F&R unit while Thomson Reuters retains the remaining equity interest of 45%.

Notably, the F&R business was renamed Refinitiv, with total valuation of $20 billion.

At the time of completion of the deal, Thomson Reuters received nearly $17 billion as gross proceeds. Of this, it plans to return $10 billion to shareholders through share repurchases, use $4 billion to redeem debt, retain $2 billion in its balance sheet for future acquisitions and spend $1 billion for the transaction-related expenses.

Being one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure, Refinitiv offers leading data and insights, trading platforms, open data and technology platforms, and regulatory and risk management solutions to financial customers.

The senior managing director at Blackstone, Martin Brand said, “We are pleased to close this landmark partnership transaction with Thomson Reuters. Blackstone is excited to invest in Refinitiv to pursue a business plan focused on accelerating growth through innovation, in partnership with Refinitiv’s customers.”

The newly formed Refinitiv business is expected to invest further in content coverage, AI and analytics across its open data platforms — Elektron and Eikon — for trading, wealth and banking customers. The business already has a vast customer base, including 40,000 institutions in over 190 countries.

Refinitiv’s CEO, David Craig stated, “This is a unique moment in our 160-year history as the Financial & Risk business of Thomson Reuters now steps forward as Refinitiv. We firmly believe that efficient, transparent and trusted markets are good for all and that Refinitiv’s role is at the heart of this, providing access to clean and consistent data on a global scale.”

Canson Capital Partners, Citigroup Inc. C, Bank of America Corporation’s BAC Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM were the financial advisors to the Blackstone-led consortium.

Blackstone’s shares have gained 14.7% in the past year against 4.9% decline of the industry.

Currently, Blackstone has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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