Financial gain

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Thomson Reuters' acquisition of Highline adds to core services, steps up competition with SNL Thomson Reuters' acquisition of Highline Financial expands its core services to include content for the banking and capital markets sector and bolsters its portfolio against competitors. Thomson Reuters on Nov. 1 officially acquired Highline, which provides analytics for the U.S. banking industry, from private equity company Spire Capital Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction represented a homecoming of sorts, as Thomson Reuters bought back assets it had sold several years ago. In 2004, then-Highline Data acquired insurance and banking data assets from Thomson Media, a division of Thomson Corp., as it was spinning off its Sheshunoff Information Services properties, which it had acquired in 1988. Thomson Reuters was created in 2007 when Thomson acquired Reuters Group for $17.2 billion. With the addition of the Highline assets, Thomson Reuters now has a database of 20 years of historical data on 20,000 financial institutions and more than 24,000 filed and calculated financial data points and ratios maintained on a daily basis. The information will be available on Thomson Reuters Eikon, the company's new desktop, starting next year. “Market dynamics are creating a strong need for deep data and analytics, as the financial sector experiences a tremendous level of new regulatory oversight, post-crisis performance monitoring, bank closures and overall industry consolidation,” said Neil Masterson, global head of investment banking at Thomson Reuters. “With the acquisition of Highline Financial, Thomson Reuters can provide the banking and capital markets sector with the financial industry-specific analytics they need to drive deal activity.” The majority of Highline's customers are commercial banks, thrifts (which include savings and loan associations and savings banks) and credit unions in the U.S. This creates a new client base for Thomson Reuters, Masterson said. “It's a classic Thomson Reuters deal,” said Eric Lint, managing director of media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group, which represented Highline in the transaction. “It's something [Thomson Reuters] probably could have put together themselves, but by going with an acquisition strategy the company can go to market much faster.” Lint said the acquisition will likely “close the gap” between Thomson Reuters and SNL Financial, which also offers analysis and data for the banking industry. “SNL has a formidable product and market position, but the combination of Highline and Thomson Reuters will give customers an attractive alternative,” he said. Thomson Reuters had no comment as to whether the deal will enable it to compete more effectively with SNL Financial.
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