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Jeb Bush withdrawing from final two business arrangements

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush. (Jim Young/Reuters)

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is withdrawing from his final two major business arrangements as he prepares to launch a presidential campaign, he announced on Wednesday.

Bush is selling ownership stakes in Jeb Bush & Associates, a business consulting firm he launched after he left the governor's office in 2007; and in Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group that in 2013 set up private-equity funds investing in energy and aviation.

He took the first steps to untangle his wide-ranging financial interests late last year, when he resigned all of his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, including with his own education foundation. In the month since, Bush has been "reviewing his private sector commitments as he contemplates a run," said his spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell.

"Governor Bush finalized that process this month," she said, by divesting his interests in the two firms, a move Campbell called "a natural step" as Bush turns "to increasing his political efforts on behalf of conservative candidates and causes."

Jeb Bush & Associates has been advising a wide range of business, including Fortune 500 corporations, according to Campbell. Bush's son, Jeb Jr., will continue running the firm.

Bush was also one of two partners in Britton Hill Partners LLC, a consulting firm formed he formed in 2008; and one of four partners in Britton Hill Holdings LLC, an investment and consulting company that he established in 2013. Collectively, the companies have been known as "Britton Hill," which is also known as the highest natural point in Florida.

The Britton Hill investments, which include private equity funds invested in ongoing aviation and energy firms, are considered among Bush’s most lucrative holdings. Their value has not been determined precisely. But a few details emerged in 2013 when Britton Hill filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission required when a firm has amassed more than $100 million in assets.

Bush has spoken openly about his business experience while visiting early primary states, telling potential supporters that despite his years in politics, he’s also "signed the front side of a paycheck." He uses the line to suggest that his business experience makes him a rarity among the field of potential presidential candidates.