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US private equity giant Blackstone has agreed to pay $17.3 billion for a majority stake in the financial services unit of Thomson Reuters, a source familiar with the deal said Tuesday.
The deal would give Blackstone a controlling stake in the unit that delivers financial research and other tools to market professionals through dedicated terminals and subscription services.
Blackstone would get a 55 percent stake in the Finance & Risk division, which competes with services from Bloomberg and others.
Thomson Reuters said in a statement earlier that it was in ‘advanced discussions’ with Blackstone on a partnership for its financial and risk division, which has annual revenues of $6.1 billion.
‘As part of any proposed partnership, Thomson Reuters would retain a significant interest in the F&R business and would retain full ownership of its legal, tax & accounting and Reuters news businesses.’
Blackstone declined to comment on the discussions.
The deal also would provide a large cash infusion to the news operations of Reuters, according to a report by the agency, which said Blackstone would guarantee annual payments of $325 million for the global newsgathering service over 30 years.
Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported the deal would amount to nearly $10 billion over three decades and ensure a flow of news content for the overall company.
In its latest quarterly results, Thomson Reuters reported revenues of $73 million in its ‘other category,’ which includes the Reuters news agency.
The financial service Eikon from Thomson Reuters relies on news from the Reuters agency, a competitor of AFP.