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London Stock Exchange in talks to combine with Refinitiv - FT

London Stock Exchange in talks to combine with Refinitiv - FT
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   -   Copyright  RUSSELL BOYCE(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – The London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) <LSE.L> is in talks to combine with financial data analytics and trading platform Refinitiv, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the matter.

A deal could be announced as soon as next week, the Financial Times reported, adding that it could not learn the terms of the transaction.

A deal for Refinitiv would come less than a year after private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc <BX.N> bought a majority stake in the business from Thomson Reuters Corp <TRI.TO>.

Thomson Reuters, the parent of Reuters News, kept a 45% stake in Refinitiv as part of the $20 billion (£16 billion) deal.

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 4.3% to C$92.72 in afternoon trading in Toronto following the Financial Times report.

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 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.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Huw Jones and Rachel Armstrong in London and Dan Burns in New York)

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