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Michael Bloomberg has turned down approaches for his financial information group and decided not to sell, quashing renewed speculation that the mayor of New York city might part with the company he founded.
In a message read out to employees by Peter Grauer, chairman of the company, Mr Bloomberg said he had “recently been approached by potential buyers” but he reiterated that his next career on leaving office would be in philanthropy.
It is thought that private equity groups have expressed interest in the company after reports this summer that Mr Bloomberg was prepared to entertain offers. Some estimates place the company’s value at more than $20bn, although it is unclear what valuations were under discussion in recent discussions with suitors.
“Although there will come a day (I hope later rather than sooner) when I or my estate will have to sell, I have complete confidence that the best days for the company still lie ahead,” he said.
Bloomberg, a private company which releases no financial information about its sales and profits, vies with Reuters and Thomson Financial, but neither is thought to have the firepower to consider a bid for Bloomberg.
All three companies are exposed to fluctuations in headcount in the financial services industry but are currently benefiting from strong markets. In fact, while ailing newspaper companies have been cutting staff and trimming budgets, Bloomberg, in particular, has been hiring journalists.
The industry has been looking for ways to move beyond the increasingly commoditised provision of raw data to more packaged information and tools.
Bloomberg has also found strong growth in newer markets such as the hedge fund industry and the fast-growing Russian and eastern European markets.
Mr Bloomberg on Wednesday hailed the “new products, new markets [and] new services” being created by a group whose “exciting growth and contribution to commerce are the envy of the world.”
His charitable foundation would seek to “impact public health, the arts, education and other areas of society in the same way we’ve improved the dissemination of news to open financial markets for all,” he said.
The group’s activities span the provision of real-time and archived data, trading systems and communication tools, and a media services division with more than 2,000 staff in 126 locations around the world.