The BBC is lacing up its hiking boots after acquiring a 75% stake in travel guidebook company Lonely Planet. The deal, announced today, nets the BBC a travel brand with a library of some 500 travel guides, a popular website, and a TV series shown in 100 countries. It’s “a great feather in the cap,” said a BBC exec.
Financial details are unknown, save that a 25% stake will stay with Maureen and Tony Wheeler, who founded the backpacker-targeted line in 1973 with Across Asia on the Cheap. Since then, the brand has become globally recognized and targeted more affluent travelers. The BBC plans to add Lonely Planet-branded travel info to its wide variety of print and web offerings, Bloomberg reports.