The sale of Reuters to Thomson may just moved a step closer after the Canadian business information publisher sold its education division for a better-than-expected amount. Analysts expected Thomson Learning to go for around $5 billion, but sale of the subsidiary was agreed today to two private equity firms, Apax Partners of London and Canada’s own OMERS, for $7.75 billion. That would give Thomson a little extra with which to mount a $17.6 billion Reuters takeover, a procession of bankers told the Times of London (Reuters has the same line, too). The paper also quoted an unnamed Thomson source as saying the sale “was not unrelated” and a Reuters source as saying the sale “clearly signals they have the financial muscle to see this through”.
A Thomson-Reuters tie-up, which would give the combined entity a 34 percent share of the market, over rival Bloomberg’s 33 percent, would likely be subject to competition interests, especially in Europe, where competition lawyers this afternoon told the FT the pair may get the go-ahead based on the diversity of their services.
Rafat adds: Forbes.com has a nice short story on the rise of Tom Glocer, CEO of Reuters and proposed CEO of the new merged entity if the deal goes through. Besides that, it picks up on an SEC filing, and notes that Glocer is in for a hefty windfall if the deal goes through. Glocer owns some 721,802 shares in Reuters, meaning that he stands to make just about $10 million from the sale, while his 7.2 million share options could be worth tens of millions more.