The private equity giant Blackstone is preparing an attack on Bloomberg's dominance of Wall Street and City trading floors via a $17bn (£12bn) debt-fuelled deal for control of the Thomson Reuters financial data business.
Under the acquisition, Blackstone will own a 55 per cent stake in a newly hived off Thomson Reuters F&R business, the statement said. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board declined to comment.
According to the sources, Thomson Reuters would receive more than $17bn for the deal, including about $4bn in cash from Blackstone and about $13bn financed by new debt taken on by the new F&R partnership, two of the sources said.
"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". It has not been decided who would lead the newly formed company.
In its latest quarterly results, Thomson Reuters reported revenues of $73 million in its "other category", which includes the Reuters news agency.
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Thomson Reuters would hold on to its worldwide news service, Reuters, along with its Legal and Tax and Accounting divisions.
With Thomson Reuters confirming the discussions, it looks like the odds of a deal are high. Thomson Reuters confirmed that discussions are ongoing, giving no further details.
The trustees approved Thomson's deal for Reuters a decade ago.
Blackstone has some experience in the information business.
Shares of Thomson Reuters fell 9 percent over the past year.
Woodbridge, the investment vehicle of Canada's Thomson family and Thomson Reuters principal shareholder, will participate in the bid/tender offer.