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West Publishing to join Thomson

  This was the offical West release, jl
  Contact For Thomson:                                Contact For West Publishing:
  Nigel Harrison          or  George Sard/Drew Brown  Ruth Stanoch
  The Thomson Corporation     Sard Verbinnen & Co     West Publishing
  (203) 328-9422              (212) 687-8080          (612) 687-4099
  Combination Uniquely Meets Lawyers' Needs For Fully Integrated Legal Research 
  Products and Services
       STAMFORD, CT and EAGAN, MN, February 26, 1996 -- The Thomson Corporation
  (TSE:TOC), one of the world's foremost providers of information to professional
  markets, and West Publishing Company, the preeminent U.S. legal publisher, 
  today announced an agreement for West to join Thomson.  The shareholders of 
  privately held West will receive $3.425 billion in cash.
       Founded in 1872, West is best known for its WESTLAW  on-line research 
  service and its database of editorially enhanced "primary law," including 
  statutes, cases, codes and regulations. West serves law firms, corporate 
  counsel, the judiciary, the government, academia, libraries, law students, 
  accountants and other professionals through three media formats:  print, 
  CD-ROM and on-line (through WESTLAW ).  Revenues were in excess of $825 million 
  and operating profits were over $200 million in the year ending July 31, 1995. 
  West has approximately 7,000 employees.
       Thomson is also a leading legal publisher, best known for its "secondary 
  law" products which provide added editorial value by organizing and analyzing 
  primary sources.  Thomson Legal Publishing (TLP), headquartered in Rochester, 
  New York, includes such respected names as Lawyers Cooperative, Clark Boardman 
  Callaghan, Bancroft-Whitney, Barclays and Counterpoint Publishing.  TLP has 
  over 3,000 employees and is part of Thomson's worldwide legal and regulatory 
  publishing activities which produce total annual revenues in excess of $800 
       W. Michael Brown, President of Thomson, said, "We are extremely proud that
  such a distinguished and high quality company has chosen to join us.  I am 
  delighted to welcome all of West's people to Thomson.  West will complement and
  greatly enhance our already strong legal publishing business.  Together we will
  be well positioned to provide lawyers and the judiciary with fully integrated 
  research products and innovative practice management tools far beyond what 
  either of us could have developed separately.  We will also have a state-of-the
  art technology platform for electronic delivery of our proprietary content to 
  professional audiences."
       Brown continued, "Combining West's massive database of primary law and our
  strong position in secondary legal material will benefit legal researchers.  It
  will make possible the full integration of two essential types of content and 
  provide an unparalleled array of productivity-enhancing research products and 
  practice aids with superior features and functionality -- all having a common 
  look and feel and delivered right to the desktop.  The result will be what our 
  customers want:  higher productivity in legal research and, as a result, more 
  efficient lawyers."
       "We are delighted to be joining The Thomson Corporation as the fit between
  our two organizations is absolutely outstanding," said Dwight Opperman, Chairman
  and Chief Executive Officer of West Publishing Company.  "I am especially 
  pleased that West will continue to be based in Eagan, and that Thomson is 
  committed to building on the West name and expanding our business in the future.
  Both companies have a long heritage of respect for the legal community and its 
  need for well-organized and scrupulously accurate information.  Together we will
  be able to develop West beyond what would have been possible for us on a 
  stand-alone basis in the highly competitive legal publishing business.  We have
  found an ideal home for West for the long term because Thomson already has a 
  strong legal publishing business which shares our standards and values."
       "We are very pleased that Dwight and Vance Opperman have agreed to stay 
  with the business.  Their continued involvement in West and the local community
  will be important to our continued success.  West and Thomson will have the best
  team in legal publishing," said Brown.
       Andrew Mills, a member of Thomson's board who heads financial services and
  North American professional publishing, will also be Chief Executive Officer of
  West after the transaction is completed.  Brian H. Hall, President and CEO of 
  Thomson Legal Publishing, will assume additional responsibilities as President 
  of West.  Dwight Opperman will be Chairman Emeritus of West, and Vance Opperman,
  currently West's President, will be Chairman of West.
       "This transaction is fully consistent with Thomson's strategy of becoming a
  world leader in the provision of specialized information to our core 
  professional markets.  We expect this transformational merger to generate 
  substantial shareholder value in the years ahead," said Brown. "Cash flow and 
  earnings multiples are attractive, and our ability to finance the transaction 
  through our bank group will enable Thomson to continue to pursue our aggressive
  development program right across the corporation."
       The transaction, which is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance and 
  customary conditions, is expected to close in mid-1996.  Thomson expects the 
  transaction to be non-dilutive to earnings in 1997 and increasingly accretive in
       The Thomson Corporation has total revenues of approximately $7 billion and
  a worldwide staff of more than 40,000.  Thomson currently has 25,000 employees 
  in the U.S., and its corporate headquarters is in Stamford, Connecticut.  After
  the West transaction, more than 55% of Thomson's total revenues and 75% of its 
  operating profits will be generated in the U.S.
       Thomson activities include newspapers in North America and leisure travel 
  in the U.K., although its principal interests are in specialized information and
  publishing concentrated in education and library reference; medicine and 
  healthcare; engineering and science; financial services and professional 
  publishing in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the
  Republic of Ireland, and Scandinavia.