Thomson and Reuters confirm takeover talks

Toronto-based business publisher Thomson Corp has confirmed it is in talks to purchase UK-based news and financial data service Reuters. The talks were first rumoured last week.

According to a report at globeandmail.com this morning:

If Tuesday’s proposed deal is successful, Woodbridge — the Thomson family holding company — would own about 53 per cent of the new company, other Thomson shareholders would own 23 per cent and Reuters shareholders would have about 24 per cent.

The combined group would adopt the Reuters trust principles aimed at safeguarding the independence of Reuters news, the companies said. The Reuters Founders Share Co., run by 15 trustees, has a “golden share” and could block a takeover.

The Globe & Mail says the US$17.6 billion deal could be completed this year.

The CEO of Reuters, Tom Glocer, would lead the merged company.