Justice Dept clears Reuters' bid for Bridge

Justice Dept clears Reuters' bid for Bridge

The US government has closed its review of Reuters bid to acquire certain assets of Bridge Information Systems Inc. without taking any action or imposing any conditions. The bid had been subject to review by the US Department of Justice under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act since early May.

Reuters says it is working closely with Bridge to satisfy the remaining closing conditions and complete the transaction within the next few weeks. Accordingly, Reuters has exercised its right to extend the term of the purchase agreement to 30 September 2001.

Bridge and some of its affiliates have been in reorganisation proceedings under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code since earlier this year. In late April, Bridge declared Reuters the winner of an auction for certain of Bridge's business operations, and the US Bankruptcy Court approved the Reuters bid in early May.

The bid has led to bad feelings between Reuters and rival bidder SunGard, which has agreed with Reuters not to poach Bridge staff without first obtaining written consent. The agreement followed a lawsuit filed by Reuters which alleged that SunGard was actively recruiting senior Bridge Trading executives in violation of conditions imposed during due diligence proceeding.

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