Thomson Reuters, Blackstone Affiliates Close Sale Of Refinitiv To London Stock Exchange

Thomson Reuters (TRI,TRI.TO) Friday said the company and private equity funds affiliated with Blackstone have closed the sale of Refinitiv to London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSE.L) in an all-share transaction.

Refinitiv is Thomson Reuters’ former Financial & Risk business, and a majority interest in the business was sold to Blackstone’s consortium in October 2018. Thomson Reuters and Blackstone’s consortium subsequently agreed to sell Refinitiv to London Stock Exchange in August 2019 in an all share transaction for a total enterprise value of about $27 billion.

Thomson Reuters indirectly owns 82.5 million LSEG shares, which have a market value of approximately $9.8 billion based on LSEG’s closing share price on January 28. Thomson Reuters interest in LSEG shares are held through an entity jointly owned by Blackstone’s consortium and Thomson Reuters.

Further, the company noted that Thomson Reuters and Blackstone’s consortium have agreed to be subject to a lock-up for their LSEG shares through January 29, 2023, subject to certain exceptions.

The lock-up arrangement will terminate on January 29, 2025.

The company said, “While Thomson Reuters expects that the LSEG transaction will be predominantly tax deferred, approximately $700 million of tax became payable when the deal closed. The lock-up arrangements allow Thomson Reuters to sell sufficient LSEG shares necessary to generate net proceeds to meet this tax payment should it wish to do so.”

The company said it does not plan to sell any LSEG shares prior to LSEG’s announcement of its full-year 2020 results on March 5.

Reuters News’ 30-year agreement with Refinitiv will continue following closing and is scheduled to run to 2048.

Under the deal terms, Erin Brown, Head of Finance for Thomson Reuters Corporates segment, has been appointed to the LSEG board of directors.

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