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PA set for £125m profit from sale of weather business

The Press Association is set to to sell its weather forecasting business in a move which would see it gain a £125m profit.

Its parent company the PA Group has signed an agreement to sell off MeteoGroup to investment firm General Atlantic for a sum of €190 million and the deal is set to be completed early next year.

Trinity Mirror, which owns a 21.5pc share in PA, has issued a statement about the sale because it is expected to gain a share of the proceeds from the sale, which is subject to competition clearance from German authorities.

Also set to benefit are regional publisher Johnston Press, which owns a 3.5pc stake in the group, and the Daily Mail’s parent company DMGT, which owns a 15.6pc share.

The sale comes after PA confirmed plans last week to axe up to 35 jobs under a voluntary redundancy scheme as a result of a slump in revenues from the regional press.

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.

“This sale, which follows the divestment of our interest in Canada Newswire in 2012, is part of the company’s strategy to focus our activities on the Press Association news and information business; develop new products and services for both media and non-media customers; and seek strategic acquisitions that help diversify the revenue and profits of the company.”

The statement from Trinity Mirror said: “Trinity Mirror’s associated undertaking, PA Group, announces the disposal of its weather forecasting business, MeteoGroup

“PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association (PA), in which Trinity Mirror has an investment of 21.5pc, signed an agreement to sell its weather forecasting business MeteoGroup to global growth investment firm General Atlantic for cash consideration of €190 million.

“The transaction is subject to German Competition clearance and is expected to complete in early 2014 with 75pc of the consideration payable on completion, with the balance payable one year after completion.

“PA is expected to report a profit on disposal of some £125m. Trinity Mirror will account for its share of such profit as an exceptional gain at the time of completion.

“Whilst Trinity Mirror anticipates a distribution of a portion of the proceeds through dividends after completion, the quantum and timing of any distribution is yet to be determined.”


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  • December 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Only a few months ago PA was claiming the Weather was the future. Seems it was rather more “Changeable” than we were led to believe.

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  • December 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Think the majority of the money made from the sale will be used to reduce the pension deficit!

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