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Thomson family 'unhappy' at UK stock discount

The Thomson family, controlling shareholder in Thomson Reuters, is unhappy at the discount of around 25 per cent of its UK stock trades to the Canadian listing, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. Citing gossip, it said there was talk of a possible capital restructuring.

The family funded a buy-back of the London-traded shares in 2008 by selling down its Canadian issues. That triggered speculation it could eventually delist the UK stock entirely, the FT said.

But authorisation for the buy-back expired at the end of last year and cannot be renewed as Thomson Reuters is in a closed period ahead of its 2008 results on 24 February.

Another option to narrow the discount would be to make the two lines of stock fully fungible or mutually interchangeable. However, dealers saw it more likely the family will wait until after the results and reinstate its stock swap, the FT said.

Thomson Reuters closed at 1,458 pence, down two per cent. The slide came in response to UBS Sell advice and after comments from chief financial officer Robert Daleo to an investor conference that revenue growth this year would slow. ■

Financial Times