Reuters Completes Purchase Of Bridge

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(AP) Reuters, the British financial news and data provider, said Monday it had completed its purchase of several key assets from Bridge Information Systems Inc., a bankrupt financial information company.

Reuters paid $275 million in cash for the assets, plus an additional $98 million for interim funding for the Bridge operations, debt financing for Bridge network provider Savvis Communications Corp., deal costs, and settling of Bridge liabilities.

The deal, originally announced in April, includes the North American operations of Bridge Information Systems, a Bridge subsidiary that provides a stock pricing and company information.

Also included are EJV, a bond pricing and data service; Bridge Trading, an electronic trading business; eBridge, an online information provider for large financial institutions; and CRB Index, a commodity index.

Reuters said it expects the Bridge operations it is acquiring to generate $100 million in the fourth quarter and lose $3.5 million per month, down from an earlier estimate of $6 million per month. Reuters expects the businesses to begin contributing to its bottom line in 2004.

Bridge, the largest provider of financial news and data in North America, filed for bankruptcy protection in February after failing to reach an agreement with its creditors on new financing. The company had expanded rapidly with acquisitions but had trouble integrating its various operations.

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