UPDATE 2-London Stock Exchange in talks to combine with Refinitiv -source


FILE PHOTO: An advertisement for Refinitiv is seen on a screen in London’s Canary Wharf financial centre, London, Britain, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

(Reuters) – The London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) (LSE.L) is in talks to combine with Refinitiv, less than a year after Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N) bought a majority stake in the data analytics platform in a $20 billion deal, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

A deal could be agreed as early as next week, the source said. But the source added that details had not been finalized and negotiations could still fall apart. The deal structure and terms under discussion could not immediately be learned.

Thomson Reuters, the parent of Reuters News, still owns a 45% stake in Refinitiv.

LSE, Refinitiv, Blackstone and Thomson Reuters did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Refinitiv bonds rallied on the prospect of a deal. Thomson Reuters shares jumped 4.5% to C$93.35 in afternoon trading in Toronto after the Financial Times first reported on the deal talks.

A merger would significantly expand LSE’s information services business, which the bourse operator has been building as a more stable source of cash flow than its primary transaction-reliant businesses.

LSE has a market value of about 19.3 billion pounds ($23.9 billion) and a net debt of about 1 billion pounds.

LSE Chief Executive David Schwimmer is a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) banker of 20 years who has raised expectations of big deals.



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