PA Group sells weather business

PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association, has agreed to sell its weather business MeteoGroup to private equity firm General Atlantic.

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British weather forecaster MeteoGroup has been sold to private equity firm General Atlantic

PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association, has agreed to sell its weather business MeteoGroup to private equity firm General Atlantic.

MeteoGroup, Europe's largest private sector weather business, provides weather services for corporate, industrial, media and consumer markets including key sectors such as transport, marine and energy.

The company has more than doubled in size since its acquisition by PA Group in 2005 and now employs almost 400 people in 14 countries.

Clive Marshall, PA Group's Chief Executive, said: "The sale of MeteoGroup will provide the capital to enable us to continue to invest in and diversify the Press Association business, as well as address our pension fund deficit."

Mr Marshall said the sale supported the group strategy of developing new products and services for media and non-media customers and seeking strategic acquisitions to diversify the revenue and profits of the company.

He added: "Under the ownership of General Atlantic, MeteoGroup will have access to the skills, expertise and capital that will enable them to become a truly global force in the provision of weather services."

John Bernstein, Managing Director of General Atlantic, said: "MeteoGroup is another example of a fast growth European business with global reach, creating innovative new products and services in the weather data and forecasting industry.

"MeteoGroup combines world-leading forecasting technology and products with a highly talented international management team. We are impressed with the achievements of the business and are excited to contribute our strategic support and long-term partnership approach to further MeteoGroup's development and global expansion."

Trinity Mirror, which owns 21.5% of PA Group, said in a stock market statement that the deal was worth 190 million euro (£160 million) and that the sale is subject to competition clearance by the German authorities.

PA is expected to report a profit on disposal of £125 million, the Trinity Mirror statement said.