Rothschilds take a bet on the weather with 70 per cent of Weather Central

Sir Evelyn Rothschild and his wife Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the senior members of the merchant banking clan, are taking a big bet on our enduring fascination with the weather (and climate change possibly) by buying 70 per cent of weather reports provider Weather Central through family holding company EL Rothschild.

Weather Central is a minnow in comparison to The Weather Channel, valued at $3.2bn a few years ago, but it supplies weather reports to CBS News and ABC’s Good Morning America in the US. Lady Rothschild says the purchase fits the family’s strategy of investing in successful business that “do good.”

EL Rothschild owns stakes in the Economist magazine and agricultural business Bharti.

Much of the vast Rothschild fortune was built on the activities of Nathan Rothschild and his team of agents in Europe who enabled him to get the first news of the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo in 1815, thereby making a killing on the London Stock Exchange (he was a buyer, for those of you who find such activities baffling).

This new bet on the weather could be equally successful (although hardly so spectacularly profitable).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.