July 23, 2018 / 11:39 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Blackstone wins EU approval to buy Thomson Reuters unit

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BRUSSELS, July 23 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group has secured EU 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 $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 EU enforcer said here it did not see any competition concerns despite the overlaps between the two companies.

“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. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Keith Weir)

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