Michael Bloomberg: I may sell my company if I run for president
Mike Bloomberg says he might sell his media company if he runs for president.
“It would either go into a blind trust or I would sell it. But I think at my age, if selling it is possible, I would do that,” the former New York mayor told Radio Iowa Tuesday, adding that at the very least he wants to sell the company before he dies.
“At some point, you’re going to die anyway, so you want to do it before then,” added the 76-year-old.
The billionaire, who owns more than 90 percent of Bloomberg LP, has been discussing the possibility of selling the company among a small group of top executives, including Chairman Peter Grauer, since at least October, a person briefed on the talks told The Post.
The company has been looking to increase operational profits by about 3 percent in order to do so — and has been quietly laying off well-paid staff as a way to boost its bottom line, the source said.
How the company would be sold is unclear, but a leveraged buy-out and initial public offering have been discussed, the person said.
The question of a sale or an IPO has come up periodically among top executives at Bloomberg, according to one former exec.
In 2010, while the company was led by former CEO Dan Doctoroff, the company started to create internal quarterly financial reports — similar to a public company — even though they were only required by regulators to make one a year, the person said.
Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet last month denied to The Post that his boss was discussing a sale, saying it was “absolutely not true.” He insisted Wednesday that Bloomberg didn’t contradict him in the radio interview.
“He’s asked if he’s started planning to do it and he says No,” Trippet said.
A “person familiar with the matter” told CNBC that Bloomberg wouldn’t sell his titular company unless he actually won the White House.
It’s unclear why Bloomberg wouldn’t just keep his stake in his company, as President Trump has done — but former executives said that the company’s debt load may be a reason.
Bloomberg LP has taken on billions of dollars in debt in the past 10 years, in part to finance an estimated $5 billion, state-of-the-art new headquarters in London, said the former executive.
“He’s somewhat conflicted because he owes a lot,” the former executive said.
“The debt will stay with the company and not with him [in the case of a sale],” the person added.
“That is not true,” Bloomberg’s spokesman Trippet said.
Bloomberg LP, which was founded in 1981, sells financial data through its $22,000 a year terminals, which are ubiquitous on Wall Street.
The sprawling business also includes a newswire service, a cable news channel, several radio stations and two magazines.
Bloomberg added in the interview with Radio Iowa that his company’s news operation would pose a problem if he became a candidate, because he wouldn’t want his reporters to cover him critically.
Trippet declined to comment on Bloomberg’s debt or the internal reports.
Bloomberg, who’s worth about $47 billion, hasn’t officially declared his intention to run for president, and said he was in Iowa to talk about climate change.
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