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Thomson Reuters And AIM Software – A Marriage in the Making?

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This week’s release by Thomson Reuters and AIM Software of an adapter that allows buy-side firms to connect DataScope Select pricing and reference data with AIM’s GAIN enterprise data management (EDM) platform is a bonus for AIM users, but is it also a sign of closer collaboration between the companies, or, perhaps, the beginning of an acquisition story that will end with Thomson Reuters acquiring AIM?

Thomson Reuters has been down the path of building an EDM platform before, but abandoned its so-called M35 project, so perhaps AIM could fill the gap and furnish Thomson Reuters with an up-to-date platform that already has over 100 users in the investment and asset management space.

The company certainly looks like it has having a rethink about its role in capital markets and recently returned to the execution management system (EMS) market through a definitive agreement to acquire REDI Holdings and its flagship EMS software. We flagged the imminent acquisition of REDI by Thomson Reuters back in June on our sister channel Intelligent Trading Technology, and the deal is now in the making, taking Thomson Reuters into a sector where it has been active in the past but with mixed results, and enabling it to offer its clients an alternative to Bloomberg’s widely used EMSX.

Thomson Reuters has also closed the sale of its Intellectual Property & Science (IP&S) business to Onex Corporation and Baring Private Equity Asia for $3.55 billion in cash. It says it plans to use about $1 billion of the net proceeds to buy back shares and the balance to pay down debt and reinvest in the business. With IP&S gone, Thomson Reuters’ focus is on its remaining three business units – Financial & Risk, Legal, and Tax & Accounting.

The acquisition of AIM would certainly extend the reach of Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk business and the company has a track record of acquiring from AIM’s owner Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), having bought Bridge Information Systems from the investment firm when it went bankrupt.

While anything is possible, nothing is certain, but we’ll keep you in the loop if Thomson Reuters makes a move on AIM, or indeed on any other EDM provider.

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