Preliminary bids for the on-the-block Weather Channel are due next week, and the would-be buyers constitute a big media who's who, reports Reuters. Word of the network's sale came early this year, as parent company Landmark Communications was reported to be seeking a $5 billion payday. As many as 20 bidders are said to have inspected the goods, with top names including the usuals Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), General Electric (NYSE: GE) (NBC), CBS (NYSE: CBS) and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA). The number of seriously interested companies is probably a bit lower, as some of these are probably just window shopping. The report doesn't say where the bidding is set to start at, or whether the offered prices are likely to meet or exceed Landmark's reserve.
The company has hired both JP Morgan and Lehman to help manage the process.
By Joseph Weisenthal