Blackstone-led consortium agrees partnership with Thomson Reuters for financial & risk business

 

Thomson ReutersFollowing our earlier reporting on talks between Thomson Reuters and private equity firm Blackstone, the transaction has now been agreed on, with Thomson Reuters to sell a 55% majority stake in its F&R business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone. The transaction values the F&R business at approximately $20 billion. Thomson Reuters will receive approximately $17 billion in gross proceeds at closing (subject to purchase price adjustments) funded by $14 billion of debt and preferred equity to be incurred by the partnership and a $3 billion cash equity contribution by Blackstone. Thomson Reuters will retain a 45% interest in the F&R business. Thomson Reuters will also maintain full ownership of its Legal, Tax & Accounting and the Reuters News businesses. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and GIC will invest alongside Blackstone for the transaction.

The F&R business provides a broad range of offerings to financial market professionals. Its global content sets include fundamentals, estimates and primary and secondary research. F&R also provides customers with tools, platforms, venues and services to enable fast, intelligent decision-making. The businesses that will comprise the new F&R partnership had 2017 revenues of approximately $6 billion.

At the closing of the proposed transaction, F&R and Reuters News will sign a 30-year agreement for Reuters to supply news and editorial content to the new partnership. Under the agreement, F&R will pay Reuters a minimum of $325 million annually. For the duration of the news contract, Thomson Reuters will grant F&R a license to permit F&R to brand its information feeds and products/services with the “Reuters” mark, subject to applicable limitations and restrictions set forth in a trademark license agreement.

Jim Smith, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters, said, “This deal strengthens F&R and should accelerate its growth and benefit its customers across the sell-side, buy-side and trading venues. Blackstone’s strong relationships in the financial services industry and long and successful history of corporate partnerships will help F&R provide new and innovative products and services, drive further efficiencies and navigate ongoing industry consolidation.”

Canada, Toronto, Ontario & USA, New York, NY

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Blackstone in advanced discussions to buy stake in key Thomson Reuters unit

Thomson ReutersPrivate equity firm Blackstone is in advanced discussions with Thomson Reuters to buy an approximate 55 percent stake in the Financial and Risk (F&R) business of Thomson Reuters Corp. for more than $17 billion. According to reporting by Reuters, Thomson Reuters would receive around $4 billion in cash and $13 billion financed by new debt taken on by the new F&R partnership. It would value the unit at about $20 billion.

The F&R business provides a broad range of offerings to financial markets professionals, with $6.1 billion in revenues in 2016. F&R delivers global content sets, including fundamentals, estimates and primary and secondary research alongside tools, platforms, venues and services to enable fast, intelligent decision-making and trading. F&R also provides regulatory and risk management solutions to help customers anticipate and manage risk and compliance.

In an announcement, Thomson Reuters said, “As part of any proposed partnership, Thomson Reuters would retain a significant interest in the F&R business and would retain full ownership of its Legal, Tax & Accounting and Reuters News businesses”.

Canada, Toronto, Ontario & USA, New York, NY

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UBM sells PR Newswire to Cision

 

PR NewswireUBM plc has agreed to sell PR Newswire to Cision, a provider of public relations software, for $841m.

Cision, which is controlled by Chicago-based private equity group GTCR, acquired media monitoring group Gorkana from private equity group Exponent for £200m last year.

PR Newswire had revenue of 195.8 million pounds in 2014, about 26 percent of UBM’s total revenue.

Terms of the deal:

  • The total sale price is $841m, $810m in cash and $31m of preferred equity
  • The total sale price of $841m is a circa 11.2 times multiple of PR Newswire’s 2014 adjusted
    earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. The cash value of $810m represents a circa 10.8 times multiple.
  • £245m is proposed to be returned to shareholders by way of a special dividend.
  • Net cash proceeds received on completion are expected to be approximately £498m after adjustments for transaction expenses, debt-like items, tax and a contribution of £10m to UBM’s pension scheme

The agreement is subject to anti-trust clearance in the US. Completion is expected late in Q1 2016

Tim Cobbold, Chief Executive of UBM plc, said: “Today’s announcement represents a significant step in the execution of UBM’s “Events First” strategy, the objective of which is to become the world’s leading focused B2B Events business. The Board is confident that this transaction realises excellent value for our shareholders.

Following the successful acquisition of Advanstar in 2014, the disposal of PR Newswire further increases our focus on the attractive, high growth and high margin events sector with more than 80% of UBM’s continuing revenues generated in Events. In addition, the retained sales proceeds will increase our capacity to invest in bolt-on acquisitions to strengthen the portfolio and grow the
business faster, whilst maintaining appropriate financial discipline.”

UK, London & USA, Chicago, IL

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Verisk Analytics to acquire Wood Mackenzie

logo_verisk-t1Data analytics provider Verisk Analytics is acquiring Wood Mackenzie from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and other Wood Mackenzie shareholders. Wood Mackenzie provides data analytics and commercial intelligence for the energy, chemicals, metals and mining verticals.

The purchase price is £1.850 billion (approximately $2.8 billion) to be paid in cash. Verisk intends to finance the transaction through a combination of about $2 billion in debt and up to $800 million in equity.

For the year ended December 31, 2014, Wood Mackenzie’s revenue and EBITDA were £2woodmac_logo27 million and £107 million, respectively, representing an EBITDA margin of 47.1%. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015. Stephen Halliday, Wood Mackenzie’s CEO, will continue to lead the business, reporting to Verisk president and CEO, Scott Stephenson.

In July 2012 Fusion DigiNet reported that private equity group Hellman & Friedman had taken a 63% stake in Wood Mackenzie in a deal that valued Wood Mackenzie at £1.1 billion pounds (approximately $1.7 billion). Vendor Charterhouse retained a 13 percent interest. Wood Mackenzie’s management and staff held a 24 percent interest.

Based in Edinburgh, Wood Mackenzie’s customer base includes 800+ international and national energy and metals companies, financial institutions, and governments. Wood Mackenzie works with strategy and policy makers, business development executives, market analysts, corporate finance professionals, risk teams, and investors. The company has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide with offices in Edinburgh, Dubai, Houston, London, Singapore, and Sydney.

“Wood Mackenzie is a world-class company and an excellent addition to the Verisk family,” said Scott Stephenson, president and chief executive officer of Verisk Analytics. “The company has significant opportunities in the global energy, chemicals, metals and mining verticals, a track record of consistent revenue growth and profitability, distinctive and mission-critical solutions, and an impressive management team. Those are all features of a unique and wonderful business.”

USA, Jersey City, NJ and UK, Edinburgh

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KKR acquires Trainline

KKRGlobal investment firm KKR has acquired Trainline. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

trainlineTrainline is the most downloaded travel app in the UK and its website ranks 5th by gross transaction value in the UK e-commerce sector. The company has 4.7m active customers, 20.8m visits per month and operates platforms for both consumers and businesses. Trainline is licensed to sell rail tickets on behalf of all UK Train Operating Companies, Deutsche Bahn and Trenitalia.

Dominic Murphy, Member and Head of KKR operations in the United Kingdom commented: “The investment in Trainline adds to our track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to build global companies and industry leaders. Similar to our Alliance Boots investment, we will support a strong investment program leading to a further transformation and strong international expansion of the company.”

USA, New York, MY & UK, London

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Providence Equity acquires Clarion Events for over £200M

Providence EquityExhibition news is reporting that Clarion Events has been sold to global asset management firm Providence Equity in a deal thought to be worth just over £200 million.

ClarionThe report says Providence competed in a second round of bidding against ITE Group, Penton Media, Charterhouse Capital Partners and Carlyle Group LP. Providence are expected to invest in further acquisitions for Clarion.

Read the story here.

UK, London

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Reliance Capital to sell its 16% stake in Indian travel portal Yatra.com

yatraAccording to the Economic Times, Reliance Capital is to sell its 16 per cent stake in travel portal Yatra.com for an estimated Rs 500 crore (around $80 million) and is in talks with 2-3 international investors.

Other Yatra.com shareholders include Norwest Venture Partners – 30%, TV-18 group – 10%, Intel Cap – 7% and Valliant Capital – 10%. The management team owns 6%.

Founded in 2005, Yatra.com provides reservation facilities for more than 12,000 hotels in India and over 400,000 hotels around the world. It has an operating income of $51 million for the year.

India, Mumbai