Jan 31, 2018

Blackstone strikes mega-buyout with Thomson Reuters

The Blackstone Group has agreed to acquire a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters' Financial and Risk business, which provides data, analytics and trading solutions to financial professionals. The deal values F&R at $20 billion, with Thomson Reuters to receive around $17 billion in gross proceeds (including $3 billion in cash from Blackstone and the rest funded by debt).

Why it's a big deal: This is Blackstone's largest buyout since the financial crisis, and already has some private equity tongues wagging about a new spate of mega-deals (albeit with more modern twists like LP co-investments and sell-side equity retention).

Plus, there is the tabloid deliciousness of a New York billionaire battle between Steve Schwarzman and Michael Bloomberg.

Bottom line from Lex in The Financial Times:

"A total valuation of $20bn, including an equity contribution from Thomson Reuters, looks about what the market already ascribes to the F&R in enterprise value. This is a small premium to the $17 billion Thomson paid for Reuters more than a decade ago. Even then, the investment may be no bargain. It could start to look costly if persistent rumors that Bloomberg has been cutting prices for its own terminals turn out to be true."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,139,207 — Total deaths: 60,874 — Total recoveries: 233,807Map.
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  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
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It used to be scarce and hard-earned, but suddenly family time is abundant in the era of shelter-in-place.

Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

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