Business of Law

Bloomberg to Bolster Legal Offerings with Deal to Buy BNA for $990M

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Updated: Bloomberg plans to bolster its legal, tax and regulatory content with a deal to buy BNA for about $990 million.

BNA would become a stand-alone subsidiary of Bloomberg after the deal closes, probably sometime in 2011, according to a press release. The acquisition will complement Bloomberg Law, described in the press release as “the only legal research system that fully integrates primary research, dockets, company information and proprietary news.”

BNA’s publications include the Daily Labor Report, U.S. Law Week, and Daily Report for Executives. BNA also publishes books and periodicals with the ABA, including the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct.

Bloomberg president and CEO Dan Doctoroff says in the press release that benefits of the combination go both ways. “BNA research and analysis will make Bloomberg’s products even more valuable, and BNA would benefit from our data and technology expertise,” he says.

BNA shareholders, who are current and former employees, will get $39.50 a share, Bloomberg reports.

The deal makes sense, according to the Law Librarian Blog. “BNA only has about 1 percent of the world market and Bloomberg Law is light on secondary legal literature,” the blog says. Bloomberg’s topical analytical reports were replicating BNA’s quality treatises that often included supplements drafted by ABA sections. “Watch out Wolters Kluwer, your world has changed!’ the blog says.

Bloomberg says the transaction does not indicate a new “acquisitive posture,” according to a Bloomberg fact sheet supplied to 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.

“Going forward, we expect almost all of our growth to be organic,” Bloomberg says. “However, when this rare strategic opportunity presented itself, we were enthusiastic to acquire a leading franchise.” Past acquisitions by Bloomberg include Businessweek and New Energy Finance.

After the transaction is completed, Bloomberg will provide more information on how the combination will affect product offerings. Bloomberg expects employees at both companies “to work together over time to produce innovative products and services for our customers.”

Updated at 9:45 a.m. to include information from Three Geeks and a Law Blog and at 9:55 a.m. to include information from the Law Librarian Blog.

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