The news that Michael Bloomberg will sell his eponymous media empire, Bloomberg LLP, has naturally generated significant news coverage, such as https://apnews.com/5a50e9104533b34193e3f5909130e9d9. Yet there has been little discussion asking the question ‘Who exactly would buy the company?’
I analysed this in my article on www.marketdata.guru at www.marketdata.guru/2019/08/26/bloomberg-the-next-move-what-is-bloombergs-long-term-strategy, but here are some thoughts.
Over the last year rumours and reports have been around suggesting Bloomberg has been working on an exit strategy. There has been re-organisation, and looking at the business of data the new challenges ahead are going to need new ideas and new faces.
Given ICE’s purchase of InterActive Data at just over 5X revenue, plus additional goodwill for ‘Brand Bloomberg’ we are looking at US$70 Billion.
So who is not in the running?
- Non-Americans. Bloomberg’s interests include assets which cannot be owned by non-US citizens
- Exchanges, they don’t have the cash for an non-stock deal, and even then only CME is a likely prospect with US$75 Billion
- Competition, again lack the cash, and only S&P Global look like a good fit
Who does this leave?
- Private equity? Is there anyone big enough?
- Technology company looking for content, Google, Microsoft or Amazon? They have the money however Bloomberg’s legacy systems could be a turn off.
- My personal favourite, a digital media company, the likes of Comcast or Verizon.
No matter who buys this shake up financial markets.
Let the speculation start and the games begin!