published : 2023-08-24

IBM Sets Sights on Asset Sale of The Weather Company to Francisco Partners

IBM and Francisco partners anticipate completion of The Weather Company transaction by the second quarter of 2024

A focused shot of the facade of IBM's headquarters featuring the logo, capturing the high-tech atmosphere - Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

IBM, the global technology giant, has announced a significant sale of its Weather Company to California-based investment firm Francisco Partners. The move marks a critical development in IBM's ongoing strategy, as the company continues to shift its focus towards hybrid cloud services and artificial intelligence.

The Weather Company will effectively transform into a standalone entity following the successful transaction with IBM. The deal encompasses a wide range of assets, including digital consumer-facing offerings, enterprise services, a cutting-edge forecasting science platform, and notable digital properties of The Weather Channel.

Central to the transaction are digital assets of The Weather Company, that cater to an astoundingly vast audience. These assets such as, Weather Underground, and Storm Radar count over 415 million people and 2,000 businesses in their monthly user base.

Discussing the pivotal business decision, IBM Chief Commercial Officer, Rob Thomas, stated that the divestment is reflective of IBM's evolution into a cloud and AI-focused company. Shedding businesses not central to their core strategy is a part of systematic portfolio review, he added.

A dynamic portrait of IBM Chief Commercial Officer, Rob Thomas, in a well-lit office, deeply immersed in reviewing documents - Taken with Nikon D850

The closure of the deal, tentatively expected by the end of 2024's first quarter, rests on regulatory approvals, completion of local labor processes, and other customary closing conditions. The exact financial terms of the deal, however, have not been disclosed by either of the parties involved.

Francisco Partners shared their forward-looking strategy on leveraging The Weather Company's assets. Their intent revolves around creating new tools and experiences for users to comprehend the impact of weather on their lives, beginning with health and well-being. They also expressed an interest in augmenting their offerings to businesses.

Post-transaction, IBM will continue to utilize the weather data provided by The Weather Company for its Environmental Intelligence Suite—a part of their sustainability software that is not included in the sale. In a futuristic approach, the suite is designed to help customers curate, measure, report and operationalize Environmental, Social, and Governance data for improved decision-making, performance, and meeting regulatory requirements.

The announcement, coming seven years after IBM acquired The Weather Company, reminds us of the constant churn in the business world. The previous deal, importantly, did not include the Weather Channel network. This interesting detail adds another layer to the ever-evolving story of IBM's corporate portfolio.

A broad view of Silicon Valley with the regional headquarters of IBM standing prominent in the foreground - Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III

Irrespective of asset sales, IBM's financial health appears relatively stable. Last month, they reported a negligible decrease of 0.4% year-over-year in total second-quarter revenue from its various business units, raking in a total of $15.48 billion. The net income, however, increased by 13.7%, summing up to $1.58 billion, reflecting a positive profit trajectory for the tech behemoth.

With the ongoing changes, the company's market capitalization floated around approximately $128.9 billion late Tuesday afternoon, further cementing IBM’s position as one of the leading tech enterprises on the global stage.