July 23, 2018 / 10:55 AM / 22 days ago

Blackstone wins EU approval to buy Thomson Reuters unit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) has secured EU antitrust approval to acquire a majority stake in Thomson Reuters’ (TRI.TO) Financial and Risk unit, the European Commission said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Blackstone is making its biggest bet since the financial crisis with the $20 billion (15.22 billion pounds) deal which pits co-founder Stephen Schwarzman against fellow billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

FILE PHOTO: The Thomson Reuters logo is seen on the company building in Times Square, New York October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo - RC175F75C880

Much like Thomson Reuters, Blackstone’s portfolio company Ipreo, which it agreed to sell to IHS Markit (INFO.O) in May,provides information and related services to financial market professionals, the Commission said.

The EU enforcer said here it did not see any competition concerns despite the overlaps between the two companies.

“The proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the limited market shares of the companies, the fact that a number of competitors will remain in the market post-transaction, and the fact that Blackstone accounts for only a minimal share of the demand for Thomson Reuters F&R’s products,” it said.

Thomson Reuters declined to comment on the Commission’s decision.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir

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