Comcast outage reports - mostly business phone service - continue coast to coast

Comcast is experiencing what appears to be a major nationwide outage. Most reports emphasize the word "phone".

Looks pretty, all light up like a christmas tree.

Comcast phone outage hits business customers
(The Boston Globe)

Links 7/12: DreamIt Partners With Blackboard; Philly's CorpU scores big Dow Chemical deal

Philadelphia-based Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property & Science acquired by PE firms for $3.55 billion

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader

What's the biggest financial deal in Philadelphia so far this year?

Well,you could say Comcast's $4 billion acquisition of Dreamworks Animation. And I'm sure there have been others I'm not thinking of right now. But the $3.55 billion private equity acquisition of Thomson Reuters' Intellectual Property and Science business announced yesterday is close.

Though headquartered on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia, Thomson Reuters IP & S is spread all over the country and indeed the world, a result of the acquisition strategy initiated by one of Thomson Reuters' predecessors, International Thomson, a Canadian outfit that grew out of a small newspaper.

Roy Thompson (The Lord Thomson of Fleet) later became a leading UK newspaper and media mogul, and further profited from a timely investment in North Sea oil. He needed a safe strategy to invest his wealth in. Besides newspapers (still considered attractive back then) and text books, Thomson's son and successor (he used the title in the UK, but not while in Canada) discovered specialized professional database publishing.

The Institute for Scientific Information, founded in Philadelphia by Eugene Garfield and a pioneer in citation indexing, was later acquired by Thomson.

Eugene Garfield / Wikipedia

People had collected and published professional information sources for centuries, but computerization opened up new methods of storing, manipulating and displaying information, making it more valuable. Thomson Reuters IP&S doesn't have any one single business that is huge. Rather they are in defensible niches that are difficult for anyone else to duplicate or disrupt. IP & S sold for approximately 3.5x revenue, a multiple justified only by its predictable cash flow for a low growth business.

International Thomson was later merged with other Thomson properties into Thomson Corporation, which acquired Reuters in 2008 to form Thomson Reuters. David Thomson, the 3rd Lord Thomson of Fleet and grandson of Roy, is chairman.

The information business - particularly medical and scientific,  has long been a mainstay of Philadelphia's commercial success. Some properties or titles date to back to colonial or early American times. Reed Elsevier (now RELX Group ) and Wolters Kluwer are other major owners with a Philadelphia presence. Europeans were often ahead of Americans in seeing the long-term value of these businesses. And now, Asian money and market potential were evidently keys to yesterday's transaction.