Monday, October 01, 2007

BBC Worldwide Buys Lonely Planet

BBC Worldwide the commercial arm of the BBC has purchased Lonely Planet travel guides and although it had been rumoured for quite some time that LP was for sale the purchaser is a bit of a surprise. Founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler will remain with the business and retain 25% of LP.
''Joining BBC Worldwide allows us to secure the long-term future of our company within a globally recognised media group,'' the Wheelers said in a statement.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, The Herald noted that a 10% stake in the company was sold in 2005 for A$10mm to ANZ (that's a bank btw). Mr. Wheeler believes the bank did well out of the deal which values the company at over A$100mm.
Commenting on the deal John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide, said: "We are delighted to be announcing this acquisition today. Lonely Planet is a highly respected international brand and a global leader in the provision of travel information. This deal fits well with our strategy to create one of the world's leading content businesses, to grow our portfolio of content brands online and to
increase our operations in Australia and America."

BBC Worldwide is the commercial arm of the BBC and seeks to leverage the vast content owned by BBC into new distribution channels around the world. They have six core businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Content & Production, Magazines, Home Entertainment and Digital Media. In the year to end March 2007, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £111.1 million on sales of £810.4 million. The company has begun to invest heavily into digital distribution and has also recently announced key hires and organizational changes in this segment as well.

BBC Worldwide Press Release
The Herald
The Age
Five Questions with Lonely Planet

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