July 23, 2018 / 10:49 AM / a month ago

Blackstone wins EU approval to buy Thomson Reuters unit

BRUSSELS, July 23 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group has secured EU antitrust approval to acquire a majority stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial and Risk unit, the European Commission said on Monday.

Blackstone is making its biggest bet since the financial crisis with the $20 billion deal which pits co-founder Stephen Schwarzman against fellow billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Much like Thomson Reuters, Blackstone’s portfolio company Ipreo also provides financial information products to financial market professionals.

The EU enforcer said it did not see any competition concerns despite the overlaps between the two companies.

“The proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the limited market shares of the companies, the fact that a number of competitors will remain in the market post-transaction, and the fact that Blackstone accounts for only a minimal share of the demand for Thomson Reuters F&R’s products,” it said. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Keith Weir)

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