GA-backed MeteoGroup to take over BBC weather

The British broadcaster said the switch from the Met Office will save “millions of pounds”.

British public service broadcaster the BBC has selected General Atlantic-backed MeteoGroup to replace the Met Office as its weather forecaster in Spring next year.

In an online blog, BBC Weather re-procurement project director Nigel Charters said the switch could save the broadcaster “millions of pounds over the next seven years or so”.

Growth equity firm General Atlantic acquired MeteoGroup, Europe’s largest private weather forecaster, from PA Group in 2013 in a €190 million deal. The company uses global weather data, proprietary technology and meteorologists to deliver forecasting to customers in corporate, industrial, media and consumer markets as tailored products and decision support tools.

Headquartered in the UK, MeteoGroup has offices in 16 countries and employs 450 people.
The Met Office has provided the data used for BBC weather forecasts since the broadcaster’s first radio weather bulleting in 1922, according to the BBC.

The BBC’s contract with the Met Office is coming to an end and the BBC was required by law to run an open competition to select which organisation delivers its weather service.

“The regulations state a contract tender must follow various set stages of deliberations and then it must be awarded to the ‘Most Economically Advantageous Tender’, which is the optimum combination of both quality of the services offered and cost,” Charters said.
“We have taken forward the strongest bid based on best possible service and value for money for the licence fee payer.”

MeteoGroup will provide forecasting and graphics for weather services on all BBC platforms, TV, radio, web and mobile, worldwide, it said in a statement on its website.

MeteoGroup chairman Richard Sadler said the group is “honoured” to have been selected.

“I am delighted that MeteoGroup has emerged from this process as the successful bidder based on rigorous award criteria, including our forecasting and the quality of our visuals,” he said.

In the blog post, Charters said the BBC has “taken steps so the vast majority of our well known and much loved presenters will continue to front BBC Weather” and that the broadcaster would continue to “work closely” with the Met office on severe weather warnings.

In May General Atlantic agreed to acquire a majority stake in energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus. The transaction will put Argus in its next phase of global expansion, which will involve the acceleration of product innovation and the development and expansion of coverage areas, as reported by Private Equity International.