Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is selling off the investment banking arm of his consulting firm to an Australian company, his company said Monday.
Giuliani Capital Advisors LLC, a 2 1/2-year-old firm offering advice on business and investment banking, will be acquired by Macquarie Group of Sydney, Australia. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Giuliani's business interests have come under closer scrutiny lately as his presidential campaign moves forward. The former New York City mayor has emerged as the front-runner for the 2008 GOP nomination in most national polls.
Doug Muzzio, a politics professor at Baruch College, said Giuliani is trying to head off any future conflicts in the campaign.
"Doing it now signals that they consider what they're doing for the clients will be politically problematic for a run for president, so they're getting rid of it early so that even if a story emerges, they will be politically inoculated from it," Muzzio said.
Giuliani Partners spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said the sale had nothing to do with potential client conflicts.
"This is so Rudy can continue to focus his efforts on his candidacy," Mindel said.
Giuliani has earned millions through his consulting firm, other business interests and his high-priced speaking appearances since leaving office in 2001. He recently said he will stop accepting invitations to give paid speeches.
It is largely through his post-Sept. 11 popularity that he built up Giuliani Partners LLP, which focuses on emergency preparedness, public safety and corporate governance. He is also a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani, a well-established law firm best known for its energy company clients.
Giuliani Capital Advisors, formerly the investment banking arm of accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP, was acquired by Giuliani Partners in 2004. It has more than 100 employees in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Michigan.
Mindel wouldn't disclose the extent of Giuliani's ownership in the subsidiary.
"Joining the Macquarie team will allow the professionals of GCA to benefit from the vast resources of a leading global investment bank," Giuliani said in a statement.
Murray Bleach, head of Macquarie's investment banking group in North America, said Giuliani's firm will provide the company "with an opportunity to build upon and expand our existing U.S. capabilities, particularly in corporate restructuring transactions."
Associated Press Writer Devlin Barrett in Washington contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Source: AP News