Thomson Reuters Plc. (TRI) is in talks to acquire the commentary site Breakingviews.com for about £10 million ($16.2 million), according to the U.K.'s Sunday Times. The acquisition would bolster Reuters's growing footprint in financial commentary.
The company has created a team based primarily in New York and London to opine on the major financial news stories of the day. Among the well-known journalists who have joined the company over the past few months are Felix Salmon from Condé Nast Portfolio, BusinessWeek's Matthew Goldstein, and James Pethokoukis of U.S. News & World Report.
With Breakingviews ThomsonReuters is trying to fight Bloomberg News for the hearts and minds of the investing public. (Rob Cox, U.S editor for Breakingviews, used to work for Bloomberg, as did I.) Breakingviews has 22 correspondents and columnists based in London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Washington, San Francisco, and Madrid. Its real-time subscription service reaches about 15,000 financial professionals. The site's work also appears in many top newspapers, including The New York Times, Le Monde of Paris, and the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph. It has 4.5 million readers.
The site is reportedly profitable in Europe but is struggling financially elsewhere, according to Silicon Alley Insider. Founder Hugo Dixon, a former Financial Times columnist, will also reportedly net £2.7 million, according to the Sunday Times. Dixon has been trying to sell Breakingviews since July; Salmon, for one, was skeptical such a deal would ever happen, he admitted to Silicon Alley Insider, but now says his views were "completely wrong."
Reuters declined to comment on the Sunday Times story, and Cox, U.S editor for Breakingviews, also had no immediate comment.