Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Thomson takeover highlights multiple roles for dealers

The cast of characters working on Thomson's $17-billion (U.S.) takeover of Reuters shows just how complicated M&A has become for global investment banks. When last checked in with Thomson last week, long-time advisor Morgan Stanley was at the company's side, working on the $7.75-billion sale of the Thomson Learning division. Where to we find Morgan Stanley this week? On the other side of the table, allied with Reuters' board of directors, which is trying to extract every last pence out of Thomson. Sophisticated clients such as Thomson recognize that dealers can cope with seemingly conflicting roles on different transactions. Bear Stearns and advisory boutique Perella Weinberg worked for Thomson on this deal. UBS Investment Bank was Reuters' main banker, along with Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, Citigroup and JPMorgan Cazenove. (Note the lack of Canadian-based dealers in a milestone transaction for a Canadian company.) In addition to creating a global leader in financial data (Bloomberg may have something to say about that title) this merger creates a far more liquid stock in the new company, which will be called Thomson-Reuters Corp. Where it used to hold a 70-per-cent stake, Thomson family holding company Woodbridge will now own approximately 53 percent of the combined business. Other Thomson shareholders hold 23 percent and Reuters shareholders have 24 percent. As a rule, increased liquidity translates into a better valuation for companies with controlling shareholders. The cast of characters working on Thomson's $17-billion (U.S.) takeover of Reuters shows just how complicated M&A has become for global investment banks. When last checked in with Thomson last week, long-time advisor Morgan Stanley was at the company's side, working on the sale of the Thomson Learning division. Where to we find Morgan Stanley this week? On the other side of the table, allied with Reuters' board of directors, which is trying to extract every last pence out of Thomson. Sophisticated clients such as Thomson recognize that dealers can cope with seemingly conflicting roles on different transactions. Bear Stearns and advisory boutique Perella Weinberg worked for Thomson on this deal. UBS Investment Bank was Reuters' main banker, along with Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, Citigroup and JPMorgan Cazenove. (Note the lack of Canadian-based dealers in a milestone transaction for a Canadian company.) In addition to creating a global leader in financial data (Bloomberg may have something to say about that title) this merger creates a far more liquid stock in the new company, which will be called Thomson-Reuters Corp. Where it used to hold a 70-per-cent stake, Thomson family holding company Woodbridge will now own approximately 53 percent of the combined business. Other Thomson shareholders hold 23 percent and Reuters shareholders have 24 percent. As a rule, increased liquidity translates into a better valuation for companies with controlling shareholders.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨