Posted by: youngragingbull | March 19, 2013

BBC sells Lonely Planet to U.S. media firm

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, announced Tuesday it had agreed to sell the Lonely Planet guide for 51.5 million pounds ($77.8 million) to U.S.-based NC2 Media — generating an 80 million pound loss for the government-owned media conglomerate.

The deal followed a strategy review that determined the BBC should concentrate on its own brands, and the BBC said the deal would be studied to ‘learn lessons from what went wrong.’

The Melbourne, Australia-based Lonely Planet was started in 1973 and quickly became the go-to-guide for travelers, publishing more than 120 million books before eventually being acquired by the BBC in 2007. At the time, the BBC paid 88.1 million pounds for a 75 percent stake in the company and paid an additional 42.2 million pounds for the rest four years later.

Despite the popularity, the guide has been hit hard in recent years by shrinking sales in the publishing industry as well as a global decline in leisure travel caused by weak economic conditions.

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