New York, 30 January 2018 – A consortium led by Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) – together with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”) and GIC – have entered into a partnership agreement with Thomson Reuters (TSX / NYSE: TRI) for Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk (F&R) business. Under the partnership agreement, the Blackstone-led consortium will own 55 percent of the equity in a new corporation created to hold the F&R business and Thomson Reuters will retain a 45 percent equity stake, at an overall valuation of US$20 billion.
Thomson Reuters F&R is a world-leading data and financial technology platform that provides critical information and data analytics, enables financial transactions, and connects communities of trading, investment, financial and corporate professionals. It also provides leading regulatory and risk management solutions to help customers anticipate and manage risk and compliance.
Martin Brand, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “We are excited to partner with Thomson Reuters – one of the most trusted companies in financial technology. 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. The partnership with Blackstone provides an opportunity to increase efficiency and accelerate revenue growth through innovation and focus on creating uniquely compelling products for F&R’s customers.”
Joe Baratta, Blackstone’s Global Head of Private Equity, said: “We are delighted to partner with Thomson Reuters in continuing to grow the Financial and Risk business. This is a landmark transaction for Blackstone and our investment partners.”
Ryan Selwood, Managing Director & Head of Direct Private Equity, CPPIB, said: “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.”
Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity at GIC, said: “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.”
Reuters News will continue to remain a part of Thomson Reuters and will not be included in the assets being acquired. The new F&R 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.
Canson Capital Partners, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan are acting as financial advisors to the Blackstone-led consortium, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal counsel to the Blackstone-led consortium. Debt financing related to the transaction is being provided by J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup. Dechert LLP is acting as legal counsel to GIC.
Matteo Canonaco, co-founder of Canson Capital Partners, said: “We are delighted to advise the Blackstone-led consortium on a transaction that epitomizes the positive role that private equity can play by teaming up with major corporations and enabling them to achieve mission-critical strategic objectives.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018.