The Weather Channel has reportedly hired a pair of investment bankers to search for a possible buyer of all or pieces of the company for as much as $3 billion.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that J.P. Morgan and PJT Partners, a boutique investment firm headed by former Morgan Stanley co-president Paul Taubman, were shopping the assets. According to Bloomberg, the digital assets – which include the Weather.com website, Weather Underground and Weather Services International and several B2B sites, are the most valuable piece of The Weather Channel, worth an estimated $3 billion.
Whether the cable network would be included in any sale is still a question. Comcast’s NBC Universal and private equity giants The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital purchased the company in 2008 in a deal valued at $3.5 billion.
Since then, the cable network has fallen on some hard times – it was dropped by DirecTV for three months in 2014 and has weathered criticism for its emphasis on reality-type programming. DirecTV reinstated The Weather Channel in April 2014.
Talk about a sale of The Weather Channel has been around for about a year – that’s when they first began interviewing banks, but heated up recently after Comcast took a $250 million goodwill write down of the asset in its most recent 10-Q quarterly statement, valuing its 25% interest at $86 million.
Comcast and The Weather Channel declined comment.