Page last updated at 06:25 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 07:25 UK

NBC agrees Weather Channel deal

Screen grab from The Weather Channel website
The Weather Channel was founded 25 years ago

NBC Universal and private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group have agreed to buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications.

The terms of the deal have not been revealed, but the price tag is reported to have been almost $3.5bn (1.8bn).

The channel will be run as a separate business from the company's other channels, which include MSNBC and CNBC.

The Weather Channel was put up for sale in January, but its owner was reported to be hoping to sell it for $5bn.

It is the third most distributed US cable channel, reaching 97% of US homes with cable, while its website is accessed by nearly 40 million users per month.

NBC- which is part of General Electric - and its partners announced last month that they were in exclusive talks to buy the company.

The agreement is one of the largest private equity deals of the last 12 months. Such acquisitions have dried up as banks have become reluctant to lend money as part of the credit crunch.




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