"consider, for a number of Government assets, the potential for alternative business models, commercialisation, new market opportunities and, where appropriate, alternatives to public ownership."Included in this programme would be a review of the Met Office and "Budget 2009 will report on progress". So basically the Government is considering privatisation and reviewing its option.
It's surprising therefore that in response to a question in Parliament about what estimate the MoD has made on the market value of the Met Office that the answer was as follows,
The Net Book Value of the Meteorological Office's assets as set out in its 2007-08 Annual Report and Accounts is approximately £206 million. I am withholding information on the estimates of the market value of Meteorological Office, as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.Call me cynical if you must, but that last setnence suggests to me that far from the Government merely considering the "potential" of alternative business models, the decision has already been made and there might even be a bidding process going on already.