On the heels of announcing its bid to combine with Reuters Group, Thomson Corp. said that its education unit’s assets will sell for $7.75 billion in cash.

Funds advised by two equity groups -- London-based Apax Partners and Canada's OMERS Capital Partners -- have reached a deal to buy the electronic publisher’s Thomson Learning arm, the companies announced late last week. The unit had been expected to go for between $5 billion and $6 billion.

Earlier this week, Thomson confirmed that it will offer $17.5 billion for the Reuters Group news service. Canada's Thomson family, which owns 70 percent of Thomson, would own 53 percent of the combined entity, which would be called Thomson-Reuters.

Thomson expects the sale of Thomson Learning to close in the third quarter. The company has been directing resources to its financial data business as it makes the transition to operating as an electronic publisher. (WebCPA and its sister print publications were formerly owned by Thomson.)

According to published reports, Thomson Learning also attracted interest from a large number of private equity bidders, including a group made up of Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners; as well as other major players, such as Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Providence Equity Partners.

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