Blackstone’s Schwarzman says cannot buy Bloomberg while owning Refinitiv

Stephen Schwarzman, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone, speaks during the Milken Institute's 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

Blackstone Group Inc Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman said the world’s biggest private equity firm cannot buy Bloomberg should it come up for sale as long as the firm owns competitor Refinitiv.

Schwarzman said that he did consider such an investment on reading the news that Mike Bloomberg would put his financial news and data provider up for sale if he became president of the United States.

“I wondered whether I should buy the firm, but I then I thought as long as we own Refinitiv, which is their competitor, we can’t,” he said at the SuperReturn private equity conference in Berlin.

Blackstone bought a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’s data division in 2018, renamed later as Refinitiv, valuing the firm at $20 billion and making it the private equity firm’s biggest bet since the 2008 financial crisis.

The London Stock Exchange last year agreed to buy Refinitiv in an all-share deal valued at $27 billion including debt. Blackstone will retain a minority stake.

Schwarzman offered to buy a stake in Bloomberg back in 1988, but was ultimately thwarted by Mike Bloomberg’s stipulation that he should never sell the stake and stay a partner for life.

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