Mystery suitor gives Reuters a boost

Stephen Beard May 4, 2007

SCOTT JAGOW:Shares of the news service Reuters have skyrocketed in Europe this morning — the stock is up nearly 30 percent. That’s because somebody, we don’t know who, has made a bid to buy the company. Joining us from London, our correspondent Stephen Beard. Stephen, who might this be?

STEPHEN BEARD:The speculation is that it could well be the Thomson Corporation, the Canadian owner of Westlaw legal database and TradeWeb financial services. This is the company that once owned the Times of London. However, there is other speculation that it could be a private equity firm. Thomson seems the most likely candidate according to analysts here, however.

JAGOW:And what’s so appealing about Reuters?

BEARD:Well, this is the world’s largest publicly-listed provider of financial data and of course a major wire service company. It’s a pretty big player and is in competition with Bloomberg.

JAGOW:Well how is Reuters performing these days?

BEARD:Much better than it did. It went through a major restructuring in the early part of the decade. Profits have been down quite sharply this past year. In fact, in March the company reported a 30 percent drop in full-year profits, but the company’s pretty upbeat about 2007 and reckons that revenue will grow at least 6 percent in the year ahead.

JAGOW:Alright, Stephen Beard in London, thanks.

BEARD:OK Scott.

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