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Thomson To Buy Financial Data Platform

Thomson Corp. on Monday said it is acquiring the information services division of CGI Group's banking and investment arm for an undisclosed sum.

The key asset in the deal is CGI's Starquote service. Delivered through stock traders' desktops, the offerings provide an overview of financial markets, news, information and real-time quotes on a single screen.

It is the third major purchase to bolster the technology of Thomson's financial unit this year. Last week, the company said it would pay $385 million for TradeWeb Group to enhance its online securities trading platform.

And in January, it bought the 90 percent of Corporate Communications Broadcast Network that it did not already own.

While Thomson's financial data platform was used by equities traders in Canada before the acquisition, CGI Starquote significantly boosts it presence, Thomson spokeswoman Allison Hagen told internetnews.com

Starquote, which was acquired by CGI in 2001 with the assets of Star Data company, boasts a 70 percent market share in Canada.

Thomson expects to integrate the product into its retail and wealth management offerings available to the Canadian market. The Toronto company expects Starquote's 80 managers and employees to be offered jobs once the deal closes in the second quarter.

For CGI's part, the company said it divested the unit so it could focus on consulting, systems integration, IT, intellectual property assets and business process outsourcing practices.

Montreal-based CGI is Canada's largest independent information technology services firm and the fifth largest in North America.