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Blackstone bets big on Wall St. information business with Thomson Reuters deal

The $20 billion deal is Blackstone’s biggest bet since the financial crisis and pits co-founder Stephen Schwarzman against fellow billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s eponymous terminals are the market leader in providing traders, bankers and investors with news, data and analytics.

Blackstone will acquire a 55 percent stake in a newly hived off F&R business, a statement from both companies said. Thomson Reuters will retain a 45 percent holding and will receive approximately $17 billion, including about $3 billion in cash and $14 billion of debt and preferred equity issued by the new business, the companies said.

The  deal will give Thomson Reuters, controlled by Canada’s Thomson family, a formidable ally as it seeks to reinvigorate a business facing challenges from a shrinking and budget-conscious customer base.