NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 12: Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike … [+]
Michael Bloomberg is prepared to sell his media empire if elected president this November. Bloomberg’s campaign has confirmed that if elected this year, the presidential hopeful will be selling his company, Bloomberg LP.
Campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen confirmed that the 78-year-old presidential candidate will be putting his multi-billion-dollar company into a blind trust initially and before selling if elected.
Bloomberg LP is currently a privately-owned financial, software, data, and media company, which some have estimated could sell for up to $60 billion. The most consumer-focused branch of the business, Bloomberg News only accounts for a part of Bloomberg LP’s total business.
Bloomberg has maintained about 90% ownership of the media company. Bloomberg’s current estimated net worth is $64 billion. The former New York City Mayor currently has the largest net worth of anyone running for president including incumbent Donald Trump whose net worth has been estimated at about $3.1 billion. Democratic hopeful Tom Steyer is the final billionaire candidate with an approximate $1.6 billion net worth.
Bloomberg’s announcement stands in opposition to Donald Trump’s refusal to sell his own business holdings or to establish a blind trust during his first term as president. Trump instead turned leadership in his privately own business over to his sons after he took office. The leadership of the Trump organization has sparked debate amongst democratic members of congress who have accused the Trump family as using the business to receive payments from foreign governments and thus violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. The emoluments clause has long led presidents to divest from their private businesses.
The Associated Press reported that Bloomberg would have certain restrictions on would-be buyers for the company which includes ensuring that the company is not bought by a foreign buyer or a private equity firm.
The news about Bloomberg LP wasn’t the only big news from the Bloomberg campaign this week. Bloomberg is also set to appear for the first time on the debate stage for Wednesday’s democratic debate. He did not meet the donor threshold needed to appear in previous debates as he was self-financing his campaign. He has already spent more than $385 million on his campaign, much through his own personal wealth, through TV, radio, and ads alone, according to CMAG/Kantar ad-tracking data. Bloomberg’s self financial campaign strategy has drawn criticism, but recent polls have seen his numbers rise amidst backlash for his stop and frisk policies as mayor of New York.
While the possible sale of Bloomberg LP shows Bloomberg’s commitment to his campaign, he will not be eligible for the Nevada caucuses on Saturday or South Carolina’s upcoming primary. However, he will appear on the ballot in 14 states for Super Tuesday on March 3.