Weather Channel ‘weighs sales’

NBCUniversal-backed cable net Weather Channel may sell parts or all of its assets, according to a report from business wire Bloomberg.

Comcast-owned NBCU co-owns WeatherChannel Cos. with private equity groups Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital LLC, having acquired the company in 2008 for US$3.5 billion.

However, the private equity groups have now spoken with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs Group about strategic options, according to Bloomberg sources that asked to remain unidentified.

Though a formal sales process has not yet begun, the idea of selling all or part of the company is being explored, though all parties may eventually choose to hold their stakes, the sources said.

Weather Channel is distributed to more than 100 million US homes. Bloomberg reported cable companies could seek to buy the channel assets, with a separate firm coming in for the weather data resources.

None of the firms involved commented on the Bloomberg article.

Weather Channel went dark on cable operator DirecTV earlier this year during a bitter US retransmission row.

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