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“If elected President, Mike will sell the company,” a spokeswoman confirmed to FOX Business on Tuesday. The plans were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
In January 2019, before Bloomberg officially entered the race the following November, FOX Business reported that employees at the organization had been raising conflict-of-interest questions in regards to what Bloomberg will do with the media empire if he did run. At the time, sources told Gasparino there is growing concern among workers that he could either spin it off or shut it down.
The Bloomberg media company has an estimated valuation of $50 billion and generates an estimated $10 billion in annual revenue, according to Forbes. As its founder, he owns 88 percent of the company and has a personal net worth estimated around $64 billion.
Bloomberg will take the debate stage for the first time in Nevada on Wednesday amid ongoing allegations he used vulgarity toward women frequently as the head of the company he founded. Also, he has come under fire for remarks surrounding his ‘stop and frisk’ policy while Mayor of New York City and comments viewed as insensitive towards the farming community.
While Bloomberg and President Trump trade attacks, Trump did say he’d welcome running against him over Bernie Sanders who is leading in the polls.
During an interview with Iowa Radio in December 2018, Bloomberg said if he runs for president, he would either sell the Bloomberg media company or place it in a blind trust. A blind trust is a financial arrangement by which a person cedes control, but not ownership, of business management to an independent trust to avoid conflicts of interest.
“But I think at my age if selling it is possible, I would do that,” he said. “At some point, you’re going to die anyway, so you want to do it before then.”
While discussing the current administration, the billionaire businessman said President Trump’s position on standing up to China is right, but his methods for correcting trade imbalances are not.
“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,” he said.
Bloomberg, who ran for mayor of New York as a Republican and Independent, would run for the Oval Office as a Democrat, citing support for abortion rights and climate change. He contributed more than $100 million to the party in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections and was named one of the billionaires attempting to “buy ” Congress by California GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy.
FOX Business’ inquiries to the Bloomberg campaign were not immediately returned Tuesday evening.
This story, publishing on 1/25/19, was updated on 2/18/20