Belfast Telegraph

Weather forecaster MeteoGroup to be sold to Swiss firm

TBG AG is buying the company from General Atlantic.

Weather forecasting company MeteoGroup is to be sold to the Swiss owner of an information solutions firm.

The deal will see private equity outfit General Atlantic offload MeteoGroup, which provides weather data to the likes of the BBC and British Airways, to TBG.

Zurich-based TBG is the owner of DTN, a subscription service for weather, agricultural, energy and commodities information.

It acquired DTN in 2017 and has since snapped up smaller organisations in the sector such as Wilkens Weather and Spensa Technologies, integrating their services to bolster DTN’s offering.

Terms of the MeteoGroup acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to the approval of competition regulators, the deal is expected to complete next month.

General Atlantic acquired MeteoGroup from the Press Association for about £160 million in 2013.

The company has come under pressure under General Atlantic’s ownership, with rivals such as The Weather Channel and StormGeo chipping away at MeteoGroup’s market share.

Last year General Atlantic drafted in ex-Truvo boss Donat Retif to help turn around its fortunes.

The proposed acquisition will enable MeteoGroup to deliver on its strategy and capitalise on a vast global market opportunity Donat Retif

“The proposed acquisition will enable MeteoGroup to deliver on its strategy and capitalise on a vast global market opportunity,” Mr Retif said on Monday.

“Our investment to date in meteorological expertise and best-in-class technology is already helping major businesses to drive efficiencies, mitigate risks and improve decision making.

“With support of the new owner, we can accelerate our commercial expansion and capitalise on the vast market opportunity.”

MeteoGroup said that the acquisition came amid improved performance, culminating in a record order book. Year-to-date bookings were up 25% in the year to August 2018.

It employs over 400 staff, around 100 of whom are meteorologists. There are currently no plans for the headcount to change under new ownership.

The group’s operations span 18 countries, and its weather measurement network is the largest in Europe.

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