Reuters board approves Thomson takeover bid

Published May 16, 2007

LONDON - Thomson won approval Tuesday for its $17.6-billion takeover of Reuters from the British company's editorial watchdog, but the deal now faces intense scrutiny from antitrust regulators and unions unhappy about expected job cuts.

The renamed Thomson-Reuters Corp. would reduce the number of major companies providing financial data, news and trading systems to the financial services industry from three to two and vault it slightly ahead of the current market leader, privately held Bloomberg LP.

The backing of trustees of the Reuters Founders Share company was a crucial first step in creating the world's largest financial news provider. The trust, which controlled what is known as a "golden share, " was set up when Reuters listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984 to safeguard the editorial independence of its journalism.

Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer, 47, who will head the combined company, said that some "realignment" is likely to occur to meet a goal of $500-million in cost reductions over three years. But he played down the prospect of large-scale job cuts, saying Reuters has made cost savings totaling around $1.8-billion over the past five years.