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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Former New York mayor may sell Bloomberg LP if he runs for president

The company, which includes Bloomberg News, has a value of more than $22.5bn

Michael Bloomberg the three time mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg LP may look to sell the company if he decides to run in the next US presidential race in 2020. AFP
Michael Bloomberg the three time mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg LP may look to sell the company if he decides to run in the next US presidential race in 2020. AFP

Michael Bloomberg, the founder of the financial data and media company Bloomberg LP, may sell the firm if he decides to run for the US presidency in 2020.

“It would either go to a blind trust or I would sell it. But I think at my age, if selling it is possible, I would do that,” Mr Bloomberg, the former three-time mayor of New York, said in an interview with Radio Iowa. “At some point, you’re going to die anyway, so you want to do it before then.”

Bloomberg LP was valued at $22.5 billion in 2008 when Merrill Lynch sold its 20 per cent stake in the company at the height of the global financial crisis. The company, founded in 1981, is majority owned by Mr Bloomberg and has estimated annual revenues of about $10bn. The backbone of the company is its subscription-based computer-terminal service used by banks and financial institutions.

“I’ve started talking about that [covering me] to the head of news, John Micklethwait [editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News]…but I’m not a candidate yet so I’ve got plenty of time to think about it,” Mr Bloomberg, 76, said when asked how the news agency would cover him as a politician.

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Asked how he would consider convincing Democrats that he is aligned with the party, Mr Bloomberg said: “I was a Democrat all my life, but I think that I have had the same values for an awful long time.”

“The things that Democrats care about are things that I not only can say that I’m in favour of, I’ve got a record to show that I have done a lot working on tobacco, I have done a lot in working on crime and on reducing incarceration and bringing down the murder rates, I’ve done a lot on maternal health and women’s health…I’ve got a record.”

Mr Bloomberg, ranked by Forbes as the 10th richest man globally, said US President Donald Trump’s approach to negotiations with China, which the US is embroiled in a trade war with at the moment, is flawed and like a “real estate promoter.”

“In his view, there’s a winner and a loser in every transaction and I think that’s a very simplistic approach to the world," Mr Bloomberg said. "You always want to have the other person to think they didn’t get everything they wanted, but they got something and they want to think you didn’t because you’re going to have to go back and do another deal at another time…You don’t want to win each time. You want to move up."