IBM Sells The Weather Channel Assets to Tech Investment Firm

Francisco Partners will acquire the broadcast network, and more

IBM on Tuesday said it reached a deal to sell The Weather Company, parent of The Weather Channel,, Weather Underground and other digital outlets, to the technology investment firm Francisco Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The deal also includes Storm Radar and weather-related offerings for broadcast, media, aviation, advertising, technology and other industries, and the company’s forecasting science and technology platform.

The tech giant will keep its sustainability software business, including its Environmental Intelligence Suite that helps clients measure ESG data.

IBM bought The Weather Company in 2016 from NBCUniversal,the Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. The Weather Channel’s cable network remained with those sellers until 2018, when it was sold to Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios for $300 million.

The channel continues to license data and analytics from IBM.

“We’re proud of what The Weather Company team has accomplished with IBM, and we are confident that the best path forward is as a standalone company benefiting from Francisco Partners’ expanded investment, dedication and expertise,” said IBM Chief Commercial Officer Rob Thomas. “Over the last few years, we’ve evolved IBM to be a hybrid cloud and AI company. We regularly review our portfolio to make sure our business areas are core to that strategy, and today’s news reflects our continued focus on these two transformational technologies.”

Francisco Partners intends to move The Weather Company beyond forecasting and “bring new tools and experiences to users to help them understand how weather impacts all aspects of their lives,” the company said in a statement. It also aims to expand the offerings to businesses.

The advertising platform “will continue to provide quality real-time experiences for the ad and subscription media industry,” the statement said.

Alan Ni, Partner at Francisco Partners said “Amid the growing volatility of weather, The Weather Company’s unique set of consumer, media, and industry-specific products provide mission critical, data-driven weather insights to individuals and businesses around the world. We are excited to partner with the management team to grow The Weather Company’s robust portfolio of technology offerings and deliver a great product experience for its customers.”

Among its dozens of holdings, Francisco Partners owns security provider Barracuda, investment platform Betterment, high performance gaming tech maker Corsair, ticketing service Eventbrite, local news application NewsBreak and web analytics software Webtrends.