IBM Corp has announced its acquisition of the data assets and digital technologies of The Weather Company. The deal is said not to consist of the TV segment of the company. Though the financial terms of the details have not been disclosed, sources suggest that the deal could be valued around $2 billion.
The acquisition deal is said to cover The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties – including WSI, weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand. The Weather Channel will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a longterm contract. The acquisition, after fulfilling customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
The acquisition would integrate IBM’s powerful cognitive and analytics platform and The Weather Company’s dynamic cloud data platform that fuels the fourth most-used mobile app daily in the USA and completes 26 billion inquiries to its cloud-based services each day. IBM would be able to collect an even larger variety and higher velocity of global data sets, store them, analyze them and in turn distribute them and have in-depth insights on the Watson platform with the help of The Weather Company’s cloud-based data platform. The integration of two companies technology and expertise will act as the base for new Watson IoT Unit and Watson IoT Cloud platform, working on the $3B commitment made by IBM in March 2015 to make an investment in other offerings and services.
“The Weather Company’s extremely high-volume data platform, coupled with IBM’s global cloud and the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of Watson, will be unsurpassed in the Internet of Things, providing our clients significant competitive advantage as they link their business and sensor data with weather and other pertinent information in real-time,” said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research. “This powerful cloud platform will position IBM to arm entire industries with deep multimodal insights that will help enterprises gain clarity and take action from the oceans of data being generated around them,” he added.
“We see the next wave of improved forecasting coming from the intersection of atmospheric science, computer science and analytics,” added David Kenny, chairman and chief executive officer, The Weather Company. “Upon closing of this deal, The Weather Company will continue to be able to help improve the precision of weather forecasts and further deepen IBM’s Watson IoT capabilities by enabling the integration of global atmosphere and weather insights with enterprise information to create disruptive industry solutions that optimize decision-making.”
“The Weather Channel will continue to be owned and supported by our existing shareholders — Bain Capital, Blackstone and NBCUniversal — and operate as a standalone business,” said Dave Shull, chief executive officer, The Weather Channel Television Network.