BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has acquired independently-owned travel brand Lonely Planet.

The acquisition will see BBC Worldwide using the travel brand to grow its online content and to move into new markets such as Australia and America.

BBC Worldwide will take ownership of the group and its products and services, which include 500 titles available in a variety of different languages, the TV production company Lonely Planet TV, as well as the Lonely Planet website and travel video site lonelyplanet.tv.

Lonely Planet's management team, led by chief executive Judy Slayter, will continue to run the business, which is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It also has offices in the UK and the US.

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