BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the
British Broadcasting Corp., last week acquired a 75% stake in
Australian-based Lonely Planet, the world's largest publisher of
Planet's core business is in print, both parties spoke of synergies
in electronic media, with BBC Worldwide's nonexecutive chairman,
Etienne de Villiers, commenting that the deal would "strengthen
Lonely Planet's visibility and growth potential, particularly in
the digital arena."
He also said the
deal would expose Lonely Planet readers to a "wide range of BBC
content that connects with their interests." As examples, he cited
the series "Planet Earth" and Michael Palin's "New
cofounder, Tony Wheeler, said that BBC Worldwide's digital and
broadcasting expertise made them attractive partners (see
"In the Hot Seat: Tony
Though best known
for guidebooks, Lonely Planet also runs Lonely Planet Television,
which produces the series "Lonely Planet Six Degrees" for Discovery
Networks. It also has a video site, www.lonelyplanet.tv, where travelers can upload and
view videos created by Lonely Planet.
mogul John Singleton sold his 30% interest in Lonely Planet in the
deal. Wheeler and his wife and Lonely Planet cofounder, Maureen
Wheeler, will retain a 25% interest in the company.
Lonely Planet CEO
Judy Slatyer will stay on, and the headquarters will remain in
Financial terms of
the deal were not disclosed.
contact Editor in Chief Arnie Weissmann, send e-mail to [email protected].