If you’ve purchased a travel guidebook during the last forty years, chances are that you bought a title from the venerable Lonely Planet series. Many dedicated Lonely Planet users are not aware, however, that the LP founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler sold the entire enterprise to the BBC more than two years ago.
Now, it appears that the BBC is on the verge of selling off the iconic LP line for up to $100 million. The reported buyer is not a publishing company, but is instead a reclusive American billionaire named Brad Kelley. The former tobacco tycoon is one of the largest landowners in the U.S., with nearly two million acres in the South and Southwest. Kelley’s only apparent travel connection is part-ownership of Outwild TV, a website that focuses on adventure travel videos.
Would you still purchase LP travel guidebooks if the deal goes through ?
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- Lonely Planet (en.wikipedia.org)