Friday, July 22, 2005

Thomson Corporation Acquires GSI (LIVEDGAR)

See today's press release: The Thomson Corporation Acquires Global Securities Information, Inc.

One failing of Thomson (including Carswell with its product WestlaweCarswell) has been the lack of transaction information for securities lawyers. This product will help bridge the gap, although they still will not have access to trade data as far as I can tell. From the press release:

GSI will become part of Thomson West, the leading provider of legal research information in the U.S. and publisher of the Westlaw® online service. GSI operations and senior management, including President, Richard Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, Phillip Brown, and Chief Technology Officer, Nick Keenan, will join Thomson West. GSI has 147 employees and is based in Washington, D.C.

The acquisition will enable West to satisfy the currently unmet needs of transactional attorneys – those involved in work such as mergers and acquisitions, real estate and securities transactions. Moreover, the acquisition will further strengthen and deepen West’s relationships with large law firms, the company’s largest customer segment.
From talking to my sales rep at GSI, I understand it is "business as usual"; there is little fall out expected from the change. For now, GSI will be run as a separate subsidiary, and it could take 18 months or more before West looks at the technology with a mind to make any changes. This puts a lot more money behind the LIVEDGAR product, so it will be interesting to see the results.

Up until now GSI was pretty much the last of the independent legal information companies. I'm starting to think the best way to get that little retirement nest egg would be to start up a terrific little company and just wait for some sugar conglomerate to come along...

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