According to USAToday.com, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has agreed to acquire the Weather Company’s data and digital properties which would include Weather.com
Financial terms weren’t disclosed. But the deal is valued at more than $2 billion
It doesn’t include Weather’s primary TV asset, the Weather Channel.
“In 2008, the Weather Co. was bought by an investor group — led by Comcast’s NBCUniversal and the private equity firms Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group — for about $3.5 billion. But reports have surfaced in recent months that the Atlanta-based company was looking to unload its digital business to focus on TV assets.”
As the two companies began to work together, IBM’s acquisition just made sense. “When we started to go down the partnership path … (the companies discovered) synergistic new solutions that would be not only digitally disruptive but transformative from a business performance standpoint,” said Inhi Suh, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Analytics, IBM.
For example, power companies and other utilities need not only hourly and daily outage predictions along with up-to-the-minute reports but also long-term forecasts into the next month or so, she said. “Being able to use all of the advanced weather science that the Weather Company has developed and you marry that with IBM’s deep industry expertise in utilities and distribution and we can now do things like pre-storm logistics, (predict the need for) first responders in emergency situations and predict load forecasts for business,” Suh said.
The impact of weather on U.S. business amounts to about $500 billion annually, Clayton said. “Weather affects retail behavior, energy consumption, supply chain, transportation, government, financial markets, almost everything,” he said. “So the impact on business is tremendous.”
The Weather Channel will continue to be owned by the Weather Co.’s original owners, a consortium comprising the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, and NBCUniversal.
IBM said it also plans to further develop the Weather Co.’s digital advertising skills for more ad-sponsored content and applications.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.