OLD Media Moves

Who has the money — and similar strategy — to buy Bloomberg?

December 5, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Alex Sherman of CNBC.com takes a look at who might purchase Bloomberg LP given that founder Michael Bloomberg recently said he’d sell if he successfully ran for president.

Sherman writes, “There aren’t many companies large enough to absorb Bloomberg that make sense as buyers. The most likely option for a sale, said the bankers, is a consortium leveraged buyout deal. Private-equity firm Blackstone acquired a majority stake in Thomson Reuters’s financial information business, which competes with Bloomberg, in a deal that valued the unit at $20 billion earlier this year.

“Still, club private-equity deals aren’t nearly as common as they were a decade ago. Many of those transactions led to huge losses after the financial crisis. A leveraged buyout of Bloomberg would likely be the largest in history, topping the $32 billion acquisition of TXU led by KKR & Co. and TPG in 2007.

“Google and Amazon both have the balance sheets to acquire Bloomberg. But Google’s primary revenue stream and area of expertise is advertising sales related to its search business. That’s not Bloomberg’s business at all, which derives its revenue from selling pricey subscriptions (about $22,000 a year) for its financial news and information service.

“Amazon has aggressively moved into may different business verticals, including media, retail and health care, to gain an ever-growing customer base. But Bloomberg’s clientele are largely professional and relatively small in number, compared to the millions of consumers Amazon covets, so that may not be a clean fit either.”

Read more here.

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