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Private Equity

Blackstone, CPPIB, GIC consortium to acquire 55% stake in Thomson Reuters data business

Blackstone Group, the C$328.2 billion ($262.5 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC agreed on Tuesday to acquire a 55% equity stake in Thomson Reuters' financial and risk business, said Matt Anderson, Blackstone spokesman.

It is Blackstone's largest buyout since 2008.

Thomson Reuters will retain 45% of the equity in a new corporation valued at $20 billion created to hold the financial and risk business. Mr. Anderson declined to comment beyond a news release, which did not provide the purchase price paid by the Blackstone consortium. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

Thomson Reuters' financial risk business is a data and financial technology platform that provides data analytics, and connects communities of trading, investment, financial and corporate professionals. It also provides regulatory and risk management solutions.

The Reuters news business will continue to remain a part of Thomson Reuters. The new financial and risk company will enter into a 30-year contract for the exclusive rights to distribute Reuters. The news business will continue to have complete editorial independence from the financial and risk business and Thomson Reuters, the news release said.

"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," said Martin Brand, a senior managing director at Blackstone, in a news release.

Choo Yong Cheen, chief investment officer of private equity at GIC, said in the same news release: "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."

GIC does not disclose its assets but is estimated to have about $350 billion.