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Thomson Bullish on Trading Technology

In what would be its second acquisition for its financial unit this year, Thomson Corp. will pay $385 million cash for TradeWeb Group to enhance its online securities trading platform.

The Toronto financial data and services giant could add $150 million to the purchase price if TradeWeb meets growth targets over the next three years.

TradeWeb's Internet-based technology provides institutional investors with data about the fixed-income market (government, corporate and municipal bonds) and the ability simultaneously trade with multiple dealers around the world.

The firm is privately held by a consortium of investment banks: Credit Suisse First Boston, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.

Allison Hagan, a Thomson spokeswoman, said TradeWeb's fixed-income expertise, market position and trade execution capabilities compliments Thomson Financial's content and analytical tools. The combination should help the company expand its penetration in a growing market.

TradeWeb will be integrated into Thomson Financial's ONE Yield platform. Thomson said the improved software will appeal to traders who are looking to move their businesses online. About three-quarters of fixed-income trades are still done offline, the company said.

For TradeWeb, the agreement expands its reach to Latin America and Asia. When the transaction closes, CEO and co-founder Jim Toffey will continue to lead TradeWeb and assume responsibility for all fixed-income offerings.

TradeWeb co-founder Lee Olesky, will also retain his position as president. The 6-year-old company has approximately 175 employees in New Jersey and London. A spokesman for the company was not immediately available.

Thomson's Hagan said it's too early to say what plans are for TradeWeb's workers and offices.

Earlier this year, Thomson Corp. bought the 90 percent of Corporate Communications Broadcast Network that it did not already own. The sale closed March 11.

CCBN is an attractive pickup. It hosts investor relations Web sites, streams quarterly earnings presentations and handles regulatory disclosures for 3,000 customers.

These services are must-haves for many public companies after federal full disclosure regulations were instituted. In addition, CCBN aggregates company and market data for its StreetEvents service, which has 15,000 subscribers.



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