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Thomson Reuters Corp. is buying a software platform for managing global trade flows in the first deal the news and information giant has made since it spun off its largest division as a separate business earlier this month.

The agreement will see Thomson Reuters acquire Integration Point, a firm with a 16-year track record in trade management, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is not considered financially material to Thomson Reuters.

As global trade tensions create uncertainty for businesses, acquiring Integration Point allows Thomson Reuters to offer clients a more robust set of services designed to streamline importing and exporting, supply chain management and compliance issues. Integration Point says it has more than 700 clients, from Adidas AG and Airbus SE to Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Tesla Inc., and processed 20 billion trade transactions in 2017.

The deal also marks the first significant step Thomson Reuters has taken to build out its continuing business after closing a US$17-billion deal to spin out its financial and risk division, which earns US$6-billion in annual revenue, in a joint venture with private equity giant Blackstone Group LP. That new standalone business, renamed Refinitiv, is majority-owned by Blackstone, though Thomson Reuters retains a 45-per-cent stake.

Thomson Reuters has earmarked about US$2-billion in proceeds from the Blackstone deal to make acquisitions that would serve as building blocks to strengthen its two largest remaining businesses, which serve the tax and accounting, and legal professions. Chief executive officer Jim Smith has made it clear that Thomson Reuters has no plans to return to the rapid pace of deal-making that it used to build its scale in the first place. But he said in an August interview that the company will consider making a limited number of acquisitions, only to “support our market-leading positions, not to seek new fields."

The technology platform offered by Integration Point is expected to complement corporate tax software offered by Thomson Reuters, which is aiming to make greater use of cloud computing-based technologies.

“Recent debate over trade agreements like [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and Brexit illustrate the complexity of multilateral trade and the related compliance requirements our customers face,” Mr. Smith said in a news release.

Tom Barnes, Integration Point’s CEO, will provide interim support after the deal closes, and Robert Bahash, head of business development for the corporate customer market at Thomson Reuters, will lead Integration Point’s operations from then on.

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