Dow Jones & Co. is in talks to sell its ailing financial information service to rival Bridge Information Systems Inc., according to industry sources. A deal could be announced within a few weeks.
The sale of Dow Jones Markets has been widely expected after the company scaled back a $650 million plan to revamp the service, which has been unable to keep up with competitors. The struggles at Markets have caused huge losses at Dow Jones and put top management under pressure.A possible purchase price for Markets was not disclosed by people familiar with the talks, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Reports have put Bridge's offer anywhere between $300 million and $550 million.
A deal would catapult Bridge past Bloomberg LP to make it the second-largest provider of electronic financial data behind Reuters Holdings PLC, which reaches 370,000 computer terminals worldwide. With Markets, Bridge would have estimated annual revenue of more than $1 billion from serving 165,000 terminals.
Bridge would add Markets' coveted Treasury bond data and analytical functions to its service, which is currently in use on 75,000 computers. A significant number of job cuts at Markets could occur if a deal is reached, sources said.
Dow Jones spokesman Richard Tofel would not comment on a possible sale of Markets, reiterating that the publisher of The Wall Street Journal is evaluating options for the unit but "no conclusions to that process have been made."