13 May

In October 2007, the Wheelers and Australian businessman John Singleton, who became a shareholder in 1999, sold a 75% stake in the company to BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC.

For a long time we had a problem that every writer wanted to rewrite the history.

Tony Wheeler graduated from the University of Warwick and London Business School, and was a former engineer at the Chrysler corporation.

The pair met in London in 1970 and, in July 1972, they embarked on an overland trip through Europe and Asia, eventually arriving in Australia in December 1972.

Managing director of BBC Worldwide's global brands division, Marcus Arthur, who became the chairman of Lonely Planet after the finalization of the agreement, explained in 2011 that implementing a put option arrangement allowed the BBC "to benefit from the Wheelers' experience over the last three and a half years," further explaining that the founding couple "supported Lonely Planet's ongoing migration from a traditional book publisher to a multi-platform brand." Lonely Planet is a highly respected international brand and a global leader in the provision of travel information. The company was publishing 500 titles and the "next level" that the Wheelers referred to involved ventures such as the production of the third season of its flagship television series, Lonely Planet Six Degrees—in partnership with Discovery Networks and screened in over 100 countries—the company's website, which was attracting 4.3 million unique visitors each month, and the further development of, Lonely Planet's travel video website that was used by an online community of travelers, who could upload and watch their own videos, as well as those created by Lonely Planet.

This deal fits well with our strategy to create one of the world's leading content businesses, to grow our portfolio of content brands online and to increase our operations in Australia and America. Also in 2007, companies in the same category were making significant changes to their business operations.