Mike Bloomberg will sell his massive media and data company, Bloomberg LP, if he’s elected president, his campaign said on Tuesday.
Tim O’Brien, one of the former New York mayor’s advisers, said on CNN that Bloomberg would offload the company that made him a multibillionaire, contrasting the plan with the actions of President Donald Trump, who has continued to benefit from his own swath of business holdings throughout his administration.
“There will be no confusion about any of his financial holdings, blurring the line between public service and personal profiteering,” O’Brien told host Christiane Amanpour. He later added that Bloomberg “will be 180 degrees away from where Donald Trump is on these issues because Donald Trump is a walking financial conflict of interest.”
His Democratic campaign detailed how such a sale would happen, noting Bloomberg would place his company into a blind trust that would then handle the sale. The Associated Press reported any proceeds from the sale would go to the candidate’s charitable arm, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the company would not be sold to a foreign buyer or private equity fund.
The Wall Street Journal noted it could sell for as much as $60 billion, adding Bloomberg owns about 90% of the company, which he founded in 1981.
O’Brien said that should Bloomberg be elected in November, he would also release his tax returns, reestablishing “a tradition that’s gone back to every president dating to Gerald Ford” until Trump broke the protocol.
Bloomberg has used the massive wealth he built through Bloomberg LP to self-fund his campaign thus far. His campaign has purchased about $400 million in advertising over the last three months, which has helped propel Bloomberg in the polls.
He qualified for the next Democratic debate this week, which will be his first appearance on stage after many other candidates have already been through, and lost, that gantlet. His vast wealth is almost guaranteed to come up when he faces off against his fellow candidates in Las Vegas.
Bloomberg’s stature, particularly his ownership of a gargantuan media company, has prompted questions about how news organizations he owns would cover his bid for the White House. The company announced that its 2,700 journalists would not undertake any in-depth investigations of Bloomberg or any of his Democratic challengers.
“We will write about virtually all aspects of this presidential contest in much the same way as we have done so far,” John Micklethwait, the news arm’s editor in chief, said in a memo to staff after Bloomberg entered the race.