Thomson Reuters to axe 12% of workforce

Job cuts come after sale of trading and data business unit to Blackstone

The Bay Adelaide Centre, which houses Thomson Reuters’ executive and editorial offices, in Toronto. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters

The Bay Adelaide Centre, which houses Thomson Reuters’ executive and editorial offices, in Toronto. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters

 

Thomson Reuters is cutting 3,200 jobs, or 12 per cent of its workforce, as the news and information provider aims to slash costs over the next two years.

By 2020 the media group, controlled by Canada’s wealthy Thomson family, is looking to trim its capital spending to less than 8 per cent of revenue, from 10 per cent currently. Reuters also plans to reduce its number of offices by 30 per cent, the company said during an investor day on Tuesday.

The overhaul comes after the company in January sold a controlling stake in its lucrative trading and data business to Blackstone for $17 billion. That business – now known as Refinitiv – made up more than half of the company’s sales.

Shares in Thomson Reuters climbed 3 per cent on Tuesday to $51.29 (€45.23) a share.

Reuters executives did not say where the job cuts would be spread across the company.

Thomson Reuters employs more than 2,000 journalists, although news makes up less than 6 per cent of the company’s revenues.

The corporate division, which included the news service, ran at an operating loss of about $253 million in 2017, according to Thomson Reuters’ annual report. As part of its purchase, Blackstone agreed to pay Reuters News a minimum of $325 million a year for 30 years.

After the Blackstone deal, Thomson Reuters executives said they were looking to expand businesses serving the legal, tax and accounting communities, investing $2 billion in those units, which now make up more than 80 per cent of revenues for the remaining company. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018