BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, announced that it has agreed to sell the travel guide business Lonely Planet to NC2 Media, following approval from the BBC Trust. BBC Worldwide will receive AU$75m (£51.5m) for 100% of Lonely Planet with AU$60m (£41.2m) paid on completion and AU$15m (£10.3m) paid in one year’s time.
The move follows the BBC’s commercial review last year which set out the company’s strategy to focus on BBC brands and promote the best of the corporation’s output globally.
BBC Worldwide has been exploring strategic options for Lonely Planet over the last year and was keen to find a new owner that could bring greater focus and capital to the business. NC2 Media, a U.S.-based media company primarily engaged in the creation, acquisition, and distribution of quality digital content and the development of the technologies, demonstrated a commitment to invest in Lonely Planet.
Paul Dempsey, Interim CEO BBC Worldwide, says, “We acquired Lonely Planet in 2007 when both our strategy and the market conditions were quite different. Since then, Lonely Planet has increased its presence in digital, magazine publishing and emerging markets whilst also growing its global market share, despite difficult economic conditions.
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