Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company on the sale by Thomson Reuters Corporation of a majority stake in its financial and risk business (“F&R Business”).
As part of the transaction, Thomson Reuters will sell a 55% majority stake in its F&R Business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone and will receive approximately $17 billion in gross proceeds. 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 Reuters News businesses. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and GIC will invest alongside Blackstone.
At the closing of the proposed transaction, the F&R Business and Reuters News will sign a 30-year agreement for Reuters News to supply news and editorial content to the new F&R Business partnership. Under the agreement, the F&R Business will pay Reuters News a minimum of $325 million annually. Thomson Reuters will grant a license to permit the F&R Business to brand its information feeds and products/services with the “Reuters” mark under a trademark license agreement.
“Reuters will maintain complete editorial freedom, and continue to operate under the Trust Principles. There has never been a more important time for providing trusted news, and that is what Reuters will continue to deliver on with accuracy and integrity,” said Jim Smith, Thomson Reuters CEO.
The Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company was established to preserve and protect a set of five principles (known as the “Trust Principles”) which apply to the Thomson Reuters group. The Trust Principles, which were created in 1941, relate to the preservation of independence, integrity, freedom from bias, reliability of news and development of the news business. The board members of the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company (known as trustees) comprise experienced and eminent people from the world of politics, diplomacy, media, public service and business. They have all held high offices in their respective sectors. Thomson Reuters and the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company have agreed to make consequential modifications to the Trust Principles arrangements on closing to reflect the transaction.
The international Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by corporate lawyer Clementine Hogarth in London, assisted by Matthew O’Shea and supervised by Jon Perry. The team also comprised David Barrett (corporate, New York), Michael Metteauer and Katherine Madianos (IP, Austin), Sue Ross (IP, New York) and Mike Knapper (IP, London).
Jon Perry, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, comments:
“We are delighted to have been involved in this landmark transaction, which is one of the most significant within the sector. It has been our pleasure to have assisted the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company in fulfilling its vital role regarding the Trust Principles.”
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Notes for editors:
Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm providing the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. The firm has more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.
Recognized for its industry focus, Norton Rose Fulbright is strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through its global risk advisory group, the firm leverages its industry experience with its knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.
Norton Rose Fulbright operates in accordance with its global business principles of quality, unity and integrity, aiming to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of its offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.
Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg. For more information, see nortonrosefulbright.com/legal-notices.