Thomson Reuters confirms it is in talks with Blackstone regarding potential partnership

TORONTO — Thomson Reuters Corp. is in advanced talks with private equity firm Blackstone regarding a potential partnership in its financial and risk business.However, the company cautioned that the discussions may or may not lead to a definitive agreement.“Thomson Reuters does not expect to comment further on market speculation or disclose any further developments unless and until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required,” the company said in a statement.Shares in Thomson Reuters were up $4.88 or about nine per cent at $58.47 in early trading Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange following the news.The F&R business provides information for financial markets professionals as well as regulatory and risk management solutions.The business, which competes with Bloomberg and other smaller players to provide financial information, had $6.1 billion in revenue in 2016.Thomson Reuters said it would retain a significant interest in the business as part of any proposed partnership.The company also said it would retain full ownership of its legal, tax and accounting and Reuters News businesses.In 2016, Thomson Reuters sold its science and intellectual property division for US$3.55 billion in cash to Onex Corp. and Baring Private Equity Asia.The Thomson family holds a controlling interest in Thomson Reuters through Woodbridge Co. Ltd., which also owns the Globe and Mail newspaper.Woodbridge held a roughly 63 per cent stake in Thomson Reuters as of Oct. 31, 2017.Thomson Reuters is expected to report its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 8.

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