fund tracking service may be about to change hands for the second time in less than a decade. This morning executives at Reuters
, Lipper's London-based parent, confirmed
to the London Stock Exchange that they are in talks with Thomson Corp.
in a merger deal valued at $17.7 billion.
The proposed deal is a cash and stock offer in which Thomson would pay $7.03 for each Reuters share in cash along with 0.16 Thomson shares. Woodbridge, a holding company used by the Thomson family, would end the deal owning 53 percent of the combined companies. Current Reuters shareholders would control another 24 percent and Thomson shareholders 23 percent.
What the deal would mean for Lipper's fund tracking service is not immediately certain. Reuters purchased the fund tracking arm of Lipper Analytical Services in July, 1998
. The New Jersey-based unit, which had been founded by Michael Lipper
, later relocated most of its staff to Denver.
In recent years, Reuters has been on a push to build the Lippers franchise in the retail and consumer markets against rival Morningstar.
Earlier this year, Morningstar purchased Standard & Poor's fund tracking unit from McGraw-Hill. The published also acquired that unit as part of a deal for Micropal in the 1990s.
Thomson already entered the fund business in the 1990s through the purchase of CDA/Wiesenberger.
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