Thomson-Reuters to shed IP-science division

Thomson-Reuters has agreed to sell its giant Philadelphia-based Intellectual Property & Science business to a group of private-equity firms based in the U.K. and Canada. The division, which has almost 3.500 employees and 75 offices in 40 countries, will go for $3.55 billion in cash.

The buyers include Onex Partners, a Toronto firm with $6 billion invested worldwide, and Baring Private Equity Asia, which has $10 billion invested in management buyouts and other deals in China and India.

IP&S offers what it calls “decision support tools and services” for companies, scholars, lawyers and regulators that allow clients “to discover protect and commercialize comment” through such products as Web of Science, CompuMark and Cortellis.

In a statement, Onex managing director Kosty Gillis called IP&S “a diversified portfolio of high-quality, well-positioned businesses providing proprietary, curated content through products and services that are entrenched in their customers’ day-to-day activities.” He pledged Onex and Baring Asia will “enhance IP&S operations and support its growth in the years to come.”

Baring Asia founder Jean Eric Salata said his partners “look forward to partnering with IP&S management and Onex to support the development of the company globally, particularly in Asia where we see a differentiated growth opportunity.”

He added that IP&S “is already an established leader in China” and the business will prosper in “more knowledge-driven economies” with “continued emphasis on research and development.”