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Thomson Reuters pulls healthcare sale

Thomson Reuters has suspended the sale of its healthcare business, citing tough economic conditions that made it difficult to fetch the right price.

Since announcing the planned divestiture in June, global economic conditions have become more challenging and the company believes they are not conducive to concluding a transaction that reflects the fair value of the healthcare business at this time, a Thomson Reuters statement said on Thursday. “Thomson Reuters is committed to continuing to invest in and grow the Healthcare business until improved market conditions allow the company to complete a divestiture at attractive terms.” 

Thomson Reuters said the business continues to perform well with strong revenue growth and expanding margins. Results of the business will continue to be included within “other businesses” in group financial statements. The company had previously said the sale of the healthcare unit was not expected to have a material impact on its 2011 outlook.

The business supplies healthcare data and analysis to companies, government agencies and health professionals. Revenue was about $450 million in 2010.

A company spokesman declined to tell Reuters what parties had considered buying the business or what prices might have been discussed. Two months ago, India’s second-largest software services exporter, Infosys, was said by Indian media to be keen to acquire the business for $700 million to $750 million, but Infosys said it “is not in discussions for the acquisition of Thomson Reuters’ Healthcare business at present”. ■