LONDON: BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK's state-funded broadcaster, has inked a £70 million ($142m; €100.9m) deal to snap up 75% of Australian travel book publisher Lonely Planet.

The Melbourne-headquartered company, started by husband and wife team Tony and Maureen Wheeler more than 30 years ago, now publishes around 500 titles and has branched into television.

BBC Worldwide ceo John Smith says the broadcaster will invest in improving Lonely Planet's online business, while the acquisition will bolster the corporation's magazine business and will offer opportunities to cross-sell TV content.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff