Private equity group Cinven is considering bidding for part of Thomson Reuters, with the news organisation set to launch a sale of its intellectual property and science units.
The divisions - which reported revenues of $1bn (£0.7bn) last year and an operating profit of $221m - have been valued at around $3bn by analysts.
Cinven already owns intellectual property firm CPA Global, and sources told City A.M. that a bid for the Thomson Reuters intellectual property arm on its own would "make sense".
The Thomson Reuters sale is being managed by JP Morgan and Guggenheim. The company plans to use cash from the sale to repay debt, accelerate share buyback activity and invest in its core businesses.
Thomson Reuters and Cinven declined to comment.
Announcing Thomson Reuters was exploring the sale in November, James C. Smith, president and chief executive of the company, said: "Our Intellectual Property & Science division contains growing and profitable businesses which operate in attractive markets…
"By sharpening our strategic focus, we are increasingly prioritising investments behind the many opportunities we see at the intersection of global commerce and regulation.”