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.

The former New York City mayor's business interests have come under closer scrutiny lately as he has emerged as the front-runner for the 2008 GOP nomination in most national polls.

Exact details about the sale were not immediately clear, but the decision to shed the firm is yet another sign of Giuliani's seriousness about the race. An official at Giuliani Partners LLP, the former mayor's consulting firm, said the sale will give him more time to focus on his presidential candidacy.

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, which focuses on emergency preparedness and public safety. 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 over 100 employees in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Michigan.

"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.