Exclusive: BBC selling Lonely Planet to Kentucky cigarette billionaire Brad Kelley
Lonely Planet, the storied travel guidebooks publisher owned by BBC, is about to be sold.
BY RAFAT ALI, SKIFT
EXCLUSIVE: Lonely Planet, the storied travel guidebooks publisher owned by BBC, is about to be sold, we have learned. And the buyer is a doozy: reclusive Kentucky billionaire Brad Kelley, who spent the 1990s selling discount cigarette brands like USA Gold, Bull Durham, and Malibu, then sold the company for almost $1 billion in 2001, and parlayed that money into becoming the one of the largest land owners and conservationists in United States.
The deal is in final stages of negotiation, and barring any big red flags that come up the last second it should be announced next week.