Thomson Reuters announced it was exploring strategic options for its Intellectual Property & Science business, which had revenue of about $1 billion in 2014. The business, which has 3,200 employees, provides intellectual property and scientific information and associated tools and services to governments, universities and companies.
“While a few of IP & Science’s businesses operate at the intersection of global commerce and regulation, the vast majority of the unit does not align in the same way as our other business units,” Chief Executive Jim Smith told employees in an e-mail on Wednesday. “The decision we are announcing today reflects the difficult choices we must all make every day as we prioritize our resources and energy towards our key growth opportunities,” Smith said.
Analysts estimate that the business could be valued at more than $3 billion, or more than 10 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization).
The IP and Science business contributed about 8 percent of Thomson Reuters’ total revenue of $12.6 billion before currency adjustments last year. The unit’s revenue rose 3 percent in 2014, compared with 1 percent growth in the company’s total revenue before currency adjustments.
Thomson Reuters said it would use any net proceeds from a potential transaction for general purposes, including investing in its core businesses, repaying debt and accelerating share buybacks.