Thomson Reuters says exploring options for IP & Science business

Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:07pm EST
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By Jessica Toonkel and Abhirup Roy

(Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.N: Quote) (TRI.TO: Quote) said on Wednesday it was exploring strategic options for its Intellectual Property & Science business, which had revenue of about $1 billion in 2014.

The business, which has 3,200 employees, provides intellectual property and scientific information and associated tools and services to governments, universities and companies.

"While a few of IP & Science’s businesses operate at the intersection of global commerce and regulation, the vast majority of the unit does not align in the same way as our other business units," Chief Executive Jim Smith told employees in an e-mail on Wednesday.

"The decision we are announcing today reflects the difficult choices we must all make every day as we prioritize our resources and energy towards our key growth opportunities," Smith said.

Analysts estimate that the business could be valued at more than $3 billion, or more than 10 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization).

Possible suitors for the business include Amsterdam-based Elsevier, Hoboken, New Jersey-based John Wiley & Sons, Inc (JWa.N: Quote) and Springer Nature, which has offices globally, said Sanford Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi.

Thomson Reuters spokesman David Crundwell declined to comment on valuation. Thomson Reuters is the parent of Reuters News.

Springer and Elsevier's parent, RELX Group, declined to comment. Wiley did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment.   Continued...

The Thomson Reuters logo is seen inside the lobby of the company building in Times Square, New York October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri