When Landmark first put Weather Channel on the block in January, the asking price floated was $5 billion. Now the leading bidder for the cable channel and Web site, a consortium including NBC U (GE), Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, is offering $3.5 billion, roughly half of which, or $1.8 billion, is equity, according to Reuters. Blackstone’s GSO Capital is also putting in $600 million.
Time Warner (TWX) is also still reportedly in the running; CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIA) have both recently disavowed interest. Weather Channel is distributed in 96 million homes; its Web site attracts 35 million unique visitors a month.
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