January 30, 2018 / 10:24 PM / 9 months ago

EXCLUSIVE-Thomson Reuters in deal for Blackstone to buy major stake in F&R unit -sources

LONDON/NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Thomson Reuters Corp board on Tuesday approved and signed a deal for Blackstone Group LP to acquire a majority stake in the news and information company’s Financial and Risk business, two sources familiar with negotiations said.

The U.S. private equity firm will catapult itself into the big leagues of Wall Street’s financial information industry with the acquisition, which Reuters had earlier reported would value the entire F&R division at about $20 billion, including debt.

Representatives of Blackstone were not immediately available for comment. Thomson Reuters declined to comment.

The deal, Blackstone’s biggest bet since the financial crisis, will see its co-founder Stephen Schwarzman go head to head against fellow billionaire and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose eponymous terminals are the market leader in providing traders, bankers and investors with news, data and analytics..

The exact terms could not immediately be learned. Earlier, Reuters reported that Blackstone would have a 55 percent stake and Thomson Reuters 45 percent. (Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Jessica Toonkel; editing by Carmel Crimmins and Grant McCool)

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