London Stock Exchange eyes £22bn acquisition of Refinitiv to expand data capabilities

The London Stock Exchange is looking at a huge tech acquisition to provide customers access to a wealth of data services built using the latest technologies

The London Stock Exchange is in talks over a potential acquisition for £22bn ($27bn) of Refinitiv, the former Thomson Reuters financial and risk business, which would give the organisation access to the “sophisticated” data technologies its customers demand.

Refinitiv is best known for its data platforms that go on trading floors providing investment firms with the latest information to help them make investment decisions. It also processes large volumes of foreign exchange transactions, while its risk business supports compliance activities for big banks, such as anti-money laundering (AML). In October 2018, the company was acquired by Blackstone Group.

The London Stock Exchange said the potential acquisition would help meet its customer demand for sophisticated data content and analytics provided on flexible and open platforms.

“Against this backdrop, the board has conviction that a leading financial markets infrastructure provider must operate globally and across asset classes, with data management, analytics and distribution capabilities that can serve customers across asset classes and geographies,” said a statement from the stock exchange.

When businesses are trading, they need accurate and up-to-date data, which Refinitiv provides through its platforms that harness the latest technology and are created by teams with the advanced data science skills.

All three business divisions collect, aggregate, analyse, curate, store and distribute huge volumes of data from a large number of sources. It collects more than one petabyte of data every day and processes more than a million unstructured documents. Its data platform provides 40 billion market updates every day.

Around 400,000 people worldwide use the company’s terminals on behalf of 40,000 financial firms, with about one million algorithms consuming the data without human involvement.

Refinitiv’s internal IT team is made up of more than 5,000 people, and it has around 4,000 workers via suppliers or contracting. It has major tech hubs in Bangkok, Beijing, Bangalore, New York City and St Louis in the US, as well as around 600 people in the UK tech team.

Refinitiv is a technology and data business, said its CIO John Finch, in a recent interview with Computer Weekly.

The London Stock Exchange has acquired technology businesses before in an effort to transform. In 2009, it acquired Sri Lanka-based trading platform provider Millennium IT, when its existing platform (Tradelect) was no longer fit for purpose.

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