Reuters shares soar on bid talk

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Reuters has confirmed it has been approached by a potential bidder, with the news agency's shares being sent through the roof.

The board of the financial market data and news provider was responding to the 25 per cent increase in its shares seen this morning.

Rumours in the City are circulating that the interested suitor is either Australian media tycoon Robert Murdoch's News Corp or Canadian-based Thomson Corp.

"The board of Reuters Group notes the recent move in the Reuters share price. The board of Reuters confirms it has received a preliminary approach from a third party which may or may not lead to an offer being made for Reuters," a statement said today.

"There is no certainty an offer will be made or necessary approvals, including those required under Reuters constitution, will be received.

"A further announcement will be made when appropriate."

Owing to London-based Reuters' unique ownership structure, shareholders are limited to a maximum 15 per cent stake, while a single golden share held by the 15 trustee-strong Reuters Founder Share Company can block a hostile bid altogether.

Founded in 1851 by German-born British immigrant Paul Julius Reuter, Reuters is among the world's most well-known newswires and the market-leading supplier of financial information to world markets.

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