BBC Trust stands firm over Lonely Planet

<p>The BBC Trust has rejected calls for BBC Worldwide to sell Lonely Planet, but has acknowledged it would not consider a deal of this nature in the future.<br /><br />The BBC Trust today (24th November) set out a series of changes to the future remit for the BBC&#39;s commercial arm, following an 18 month review of the mandate, strategy and governance arrangements, initiated by the Trust.<br /><br />A statement from the BBC Trust said: &quot;As a specific point, the Trust would not expect to consider a commercial deal of the scale and nature of the Lonely Planet acquisition in future.&quot; It added the Trust wanted to &quot;ensure that BBC Worldwide&#39;s plans for it secure the best value for licence fee payers and will keep its long-term future under review&quot;.<br /><br />The Trust said it would not be involved in any further mergers or acquisitions &quot;unless there are exceptional circumstances&quot;. There must also be an exit from activity that is not in keeping with the BBC brand, the organisation said. The Trust stressed there should be a &quot;clearer focus&quot; on securing value from the BBC&#39;s own intellectual property. <br /><br />Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the Trust, said: &quot;Worldwide is a successful business which brings both significant financial benefits for the licence fee payer and a tangible boost to the creative economy. But the Trust and the Executive both acknowledge that the boundaries for Worldwide activity need to be clearer.</p><p>&quot;Our commercial operations are not exempt from the BBC&#39;s public mission. They must keep the public purposes at their heart, engaging carefully with markets globally to help &#39;bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK&#39;, whilst protecting and promoting the BBC&#39;s brand and reputation.<br /><br />&quot;We&#39;re satisfied that these changes will provide much-needed clarity and a greater alignment with the BBC&#39;s public purposes, without stifling Worldwide&#39;s ability to perform as a thriving and profitable entity.&quot;<br /><br />The 2007 acquisition of 75% of the travel publisher for &pound;89m was met by anger from rival publishers. <a href="../news/97812-bbcs-lonely-planet-purchase-egregious-says-commons-committee.html" target="_blank">A Commons select committee branded it &quot;the most egregious example&quot; of the company&#39;s expansion beyond its existing remit.</a> </p>