NBC Universal and two partners have agreed to buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications. Financial terms were not disclosed, but reportedly the deal is worth about $3.5 billion.
The acquisition includes The Weather Channel Networks, The Weather Channel Interactive and Weather Services Interactive. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and will operate as a separate entity, with management services provided by NBC Universal. It recently unveiled its new HD broadcast facility in Atlanta.
NBCU teamed with private equity firms Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group. The group was initially up against several major media companies including Time Warner Inc., before becoming the frontrunner in June.
The Weather Channel is one of the last of the major cable channels with a relatively small, independent owner. Landmark Communications, based in Norfolk, Va., revealed its intent to sell the property in January.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., GE Commercial Finance, GSO Capital Partners and Sankaty Advisors LLC will provide debt financing for the deal.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals.
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