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IBM nears deal to buy Weather Company's digital assets: source

IBM received the most US patents in 2015 for the 23rd consecutive year, as the company extends its bet that clients will increasingly need and buy more services that use machine learning and similar technologies to improve business functions.

[SAN FRANCISCO] International Business Machines Corp is nearing an agreement to buy the Weather Company's digital assets in a deal that could be announced as soon as this week, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The deal, which will not include the Weather Channel cable network, would be valued at more than US$2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Tuesday, citing sources.

After the deal closes, the Weather Company chief executive officer David Kenny is expected to join IBM, the newspaper said.

The Weather Company, based in Atlanta, is currently owned by private equity firms Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital and Comcast Corp's NBC Universal, which bought the firm in 2008 for about US$3.5 billion.

The Weather Company, Blackstone and Bain Capital declined to comment. IBM, whose shares were unchanged after hours on Tuesday, could not be reached immediately for comment.

IBM and the Weather Company, through its business-to-business division WSI, signed a deal in March to integrate the Weather Company's weather data services with IBM's cloud services.

The digital assets include data, forecasting and apps.