Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg plans to sell his multibillion-dollar financial data and media company Bloomberg L.P. if he wins the presidency, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Tuesday (Feb. 18). The campaign said that Bloomberg would “first put the company in a blind trust” before selling it.
The company could sell for up to $60 billion, his campaign noted. The news answers some questions as to the future of Bloomberg’s eponymous company that have dangled since he announced his candidacy last November.
Bloomberg and his advisors have gone back and forth about the company’s fate, and whether it would be put in a blind trust or divested entirely, the WSJ said. The campaign said it would only be put in a trust initially, but Bloomberg later said that a sale was a possibility.
The Bloomberg campaign has hit President Trump hard on ethical concerns relating to similar business dealings. Trump, Bloomberg noted, did not sell or divest his own businesses at all, but instead let his sons run them.
Democrats in Congress have said that Trump accepts payments from foreign governments through his hotels and golf resorts. They added that he’s violated emolument rules, which bar such transactions, since he’s been in office. The White House argued in court that it had not violated those laws. An appeals court agreed and rejected the democrats’ lawsuit, saying that it lacked standing to go forward.
Bloomberg’s increased visibility and rising poll numbers have come with questions about how he’d manage his businesses. His net worth is around $64 billion, according to Forbes, and he owns about 90 percent of the company he helped co-found in 1981. Research has found that Bloomberg L.P. brought in about $10.5 billion last year, up 5.7 percent from the previous year.
The list of possible Bloomberg L.P. buyers is a short one, but could include stock exchanges, financial consortia and Big Tech firms.
Bloomberg hit 19 percent in polls recently, and will appear at the next presidential debate, the first time he’s faced his democratic candidate rivals on stage so far.