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Thomson to sell education assets


The Associated Press May 11, 2007, 9:48AM EST

Thomson to sell education assets

Canada's Thomson Corp., which earlier this month bid $17.7 billion for British financial news publisher Reuters Group PLC, said Friday it will sell certain education assets for $7.75 billion in cash to funds affiliated with Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners.

Private equity firm Apax and asset management company OMERS are acquiring the higher education, careers and library reference divisions of Thomson Learning. Also included in the deal is Nelson Canada, which provides books and online resources for the Canadian educational market.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets are financial advisers to Thomson on the sale.

Thomson said in October it intended to sell Thomson Learning to help it pursue opportunities more in line with its growth strategy. Analysts have said the expected sale provides crucial funding for Thomson's proposed takeover of Reuters.

A combined Thomson-Reuters would have a market capitalization of about $45 billion and top current market leader Bloomberg LP in providing real-time data to traders and investment professionals.

Thomson shares rose $1.43, or 3.5 percent, to $41.99 in morning trading.