Mike Bloomberg has announced that he will eventually sell his multi-billion dollar financial data and media company, Bloomberg L.P., if elected president in 2020.
Should this happen, there is already a perfect buyer with plenty of cash sitting on the sidelines. That’s Warren Buffet and his team at Berkshire Hathaway.
As one of the world’s wealthiest media titans, Michael Bloomberg potentially has a significant conflict of interest on his hands should he find his way first into the Democratic nominee position, and then into the White House.
Donald Trump has been on the receiving end of a large amount of criticism for his use of Trump Organization properties to entertain government officials, and Bloomberg will be keen to ensure that he doesn’t have to deal with these same accusations.
This is the main reason why the former New York mayor announced he would sell the company if elected president. That’s no small commitment since he has been growing his L.P. since being fired from Salomon Brothers in the early 1980s.
One of his subsidiaries, Bloomberg TV, is already focusing on convincing viewers of their impartiality, as they repeat disclaimers about the owner repeatedly.
So the big question is, who could afford to buy Bloomberg L.P, given that Mike is currently sitting on an 88% controlling share, estimated to be worth more than $50 billion?
How about an even richer man, sitting anxiously on a vast $128 billion cash pile who has repeatedly complained about the lack of opportunities in public markets. That’s right, Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett has been saying for some time he is looking for an “elephant-sized” acquisition, and Bloomberg’s private business could be such an opportunity.
With apparently strong financials and a dominant position within the financial data industry, Bloomberg L.P.’s terminal is just the kind of quasi-monopoly that has made Warren Buffett his fortune.
The fit gets even better when you consider that the Oracle of Omaha is left-leaning politically and has often donated money to Democratic causes. The new president in 2020 could rest easy knowing that he had not unloaded a powerful media entity that was going to be turned around and used against him.
Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t like getting into bidding wars, and they probably won’t need one as Bloomberg would be surgical in deciding who gets to purchase his life’s work.
Of course, in order for this to all come to fruition, there’s a heck of a lot of votes to be counted and campaigning to be done. Bloomberg is still some way off from even being the Democratic frontrunner, as he still trails Bernie Sanders in almost every poll.
Momentum is certainly with him, however, and Buffett should already be making some calls to the Hamptons just in case.
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