Weather Channel Sells for $3.5B
NBC, Blackstone, and Bain score cable stalwart for far under expected $5B
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2008 6:25 AM CDT
Dr. Marcus Eriksen, of The Weather Channel, left, and high school student Trevor van Voorthuijsen, 15, of LeCanto, Fla., row a raft made from recyclable materials in the Potomac River.   (AP Photo/The Weather Channel, Erik S. Lesser)
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(Newser) – NBC is heading an investor group that will buy the Weather Channel for nearly $3.5 billion—well below the $5 billion Landmark Communications was expecting when it put the iconic cable channel up for sale in January. The group, which includes private equity firms Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group, outlasted Time Warner, which dropped out of the bidding 3 weeks ago, reports the New York Times.

The deal is one of the largest leveraged buyouts in the US this year, and "illustrates how corporate buyers and private-equity investors increasingly are relying on each other to finance deals, filling a void left by capital-constrained banks,"  the Wall Street Journal writes.
The deal includes the basic cable Weather Channel—which debuted in 1982—the website and a private forecasting service. Nearly every US home with cable—some 96 million—receives the Weather Channel, notes the Journal.