Indy report claims Thomson's Reuters takeover was a 'disaster'

The Independent today suggests Thomson’s £8.7bn takeover of Reuters in 2007 has turned out to be a ‘disaster”.

A report in today’s business section claimed that the ‘Reuters financial data and news business still dragging down otherwise decent results from the company’s other (smaller) units, which sell legal and intellectual property databases and accounting software”.

It claims that shareholders were ‘expressing impatience’and that with a new team in charge led by new boss James Smith ‘many aspects of the old Reuters are up for review”. What happens next?

Tim Casey, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, was quoted saying:

I’ve been covering this stock since 1992 and sentiment has never been as bad as it has over the past year. Nobody likes this name.

He added:

Though quantifying market share is very hard, there is no doubt that Bloomberg has the momentum. The most obvious way you can tell that is by listening to customers bitch about their Reuters terminals. The buy side loves Bloomberg; you would have to pry their Bloomberg terminals out of hedge fund managers’ cold, dead hands. That forces the sell side [brokers] on the platform, too, because their customers are on there.

Douglas Taylor, a former director of product marketing at Thomson’s old financial division and Reuters, told The Independent:

It is the perennial debate within Reuters, how important is the news operation to the value of the financial data business… Now Twitter and other places on the web serve as a place where events are announced, and you are as likely to hear about an earthquake somewhere else before Reuters or Bloomberg.

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