The rumors that Brad M. Kelley had an interest to buy Lonely Planet from BBC Worldwide came true, The Guardian reported. Unfortunately, the previous owners sold the prestigious travel guides business at £51.5m, after paying a total of £130.2m for it (in two stages in 2007 and 2011). For BBC Worldwide, this is a significant loss.
NC2 Media, a company specialized in creation, acquisition, and distribution of digital content, and owned by Brad Kelley, agreed to pay AU$75m (£51.5m) for Lonely Planet, in two stages, with AU$60m (£41.2m) on completion of the deal, and AU$15m in one year’s time. For BBC Worldwide, this is almost £80m less then the total it paid to own the business. But last year in July, BBC Worldwide already declared that the value of Lonely Planet was only £85m, and things have been going down since.
“Lonely Planet’s financial performance has been impacted in recent years by the continued strength of the Australian dollar, the rapid consolidation of the publishing industry and a global recession which affected leisure travel, ” according to BBC Worldwide commercial arm.
After the sale, Lonely Planet will continue to be headquartered in Australia, and there were no changes announced for the company’s staff and employees.