Financial information is king and Thomson Reuters Corporation holds the crown. The company is the market leader in financial data (ahead of rival information provider Bloomberg). Thomson Reuters provides electronic information and services to businesses and professionals worldwide, serving the financial services, media, legal, tax and accounting, and science markets. Data is primarily offered online, and to a lesser extent via CD-ROM and print formats; nearly all revenues come from subscription sales to its plethora of offerings. Thomson Reuters was created in 2008 as the result of the $16 billion cash and stock purchase of news service Reuters by information provider The Thomson Corporation.
Thomson Reuters has a truly global scale indeed. The company operates in more than 100 countries, and more than 40% of revenues come from outside the Americas. The business has US offices in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas, and international offices in London and Bangalore, India.
Sales and Marketing
Thomson Reuters sells its products and services directly to its customers. In addition, it has been successful in selling some of its products and services online directly to customers. Focusing some of the marketing and sales efforts online has allowed it to broaden the range of customers and reduce sales and marketing costs.
The company‘s revenue decreased to $1.32 billion in fiscal 2012 from $1.38 billion, a 4% decline compared to fiscal 2011. The decline was attributed to the decrease in revenue from the Financial & Risk segment and divestitures, which included the Healthcare business, Financial & Risk’s Portia business, the Trade and Risk Management business, the eXimius business, and its and Tax & Accounting’s Property Tax Services business. In 2013 the company also sold its Legal’s Law School Publishing business.
Despite the decline in revenue the company reported a profit of $2.12 billion in fiscal 2012 against a loss of $1.39 billion in fiscal 2011. The increase in profits was due to the benefits of scale from higher revenues outside the US and decreased operating expenses.
Hoping to turn things around, in 2012 the company reorganized into four units. It did so in order to streamline the business and operate more efficiently. Its core units now include Thomson Financial & Risk, Thomson Reuters, Legal, Thomson Tax & Accounting, and Thomson Intellectual Property & Science.
Prior to 2012, the company's Markets division (most of which transferred to Financial & Risk) accounted for more than half of Thomson Reuters revenues. The unit consisted of its financial and media businesses, home to established brands and products such as Omgeo, Lipper, and Tradeweb. The division completed its integration of Reuters at the close of 2011.
Markets also includes tools such as the Thomson Reuters Eikon and Thomson Reuters Elektron platforms. Eikon is its a flagship financial data product that directly competes with Bloomberg's financial terminals and free online information; the desktop product incorporates Internet-style search, display, and navigation tools. Elektron is an ultra low-latency electronic trading and data distribution platform.
The company's Legal business is its second-largest unit, accounting for some 30% of revenues. It includes brands such as Elite (business management software), Round Table Group (expert witness consulting services to litigators), Complinet (compliance information solutions), and WestlawNext (flagship online legal information service).
Thomson Reuters in 2012 divested its Healthcare business, formerly part of its Science unit (which was renamed from Thomson Healthcare & Science to Thomson Intellectual Property & Science in 2011). After putting a sale on hold in 2011 due to unfavorable market conditions, in 2012 Thomson Reuters sold the business to an affiliate of Veritas Capital for $1.25 billion in cash. The company said the healthcare division was less integrated with its other operations, and also lacked the global scale of the rest of the business.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2013 Thomson Reuters signed a definitive agreement to acquire Practical Law Company, the London-based provider of practical legal know-how and workflow tools to law firms and corporate law departments. With principal operations in London and New York, Practical Law will be part of the Legal business of Thomson Reuters.
The company acquired electronic currencies trading platform FX Alliance in 2012 for some $616 million. Before the deal closed, an average $154 billion worth of trades a day in one month flowed through Thomson Reuters, while an average of $98.6 billion went through FX Alliance in one month. The combination of the two creates the biggest electronic trading pool in foreign exchange.
The Thomson family, through its Woodbridge investment firm, owns 55% of Thomson Reuters.