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Blackstone wins E.U. approval to buy Thomson Reuters unit: Reuters

U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group has secured E.U. 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 US$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, which it agreed to sell to IHS Markit in May, provides information and related services to financial market professionals, the Commission said.

“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.

Thomson Reuters declined to comment on the Commission’s decision.

Update: Canada’s Thomson family controls more than 63 percent of Thomson Reuters shares through Woodbridge Co Ltd.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)