Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg has publicly said for the first time that he plans to sell the financial information business that bears his name.
According to a report by UK newspaper The Telegraph, Bloomberg revealed his plans to sell the business - which has made him one of the richest men in the world - at a panel discussion in New York.
Bloomberg says he intends do another four year stint as mayor on New York - assuming he wins next year's election - before selling the firm. Proceeds of the sale - which are thought to amount to billions of dollars - will be used to form a charitable trust.
Founded in 1981, Bloomberg supplies the global business community with news, data and analysis as well as real-time pricing, historical pricing, indicative data, analytics and electronic communications via the Bloomberg Professional service. The company also has television, radio, publishing and Internet operations worldwide.
Investment bank Merrill Lynch holds a 20% share in the firm and senior staff have stakes thought to total about eight per cent, but the rest is understood to be owned by Bloomberg himself. The company's closest rival, UK news and information group Reuters, is valued at £5.6 billion.
Bloomberg is ranked by America's Forbes magazine as the 85th richest man in the world, with a fortune valued at $4.9bn. Much of this comprises his stake in the financial data business.