After weeks of speculation and five years in BBC Worldwide's care, Lonely Planet has been sold to NC2 Media, based in Tennessee.
NC2 is paying £51.5 for 100% of the travel guide specialist with £41.2m to be paid on completion of the deal and the remaining £10.3m in a year's time.
The deal represents a loss to BBC Worldwide which paid a total of £130.2m for Lonely Planet, when it acquired a 75% stake in 2007 for £88.1 followed by the remaining 25% in 2011 for £42.17m.
Reports say the BBC Trust, the governing body of BBC Worldwide, is calling for a review and has criticised the deal saying it was not "a good commercial investment" and lessons needed to be learned.
A statement from BBC Worldwide says Lonely Planet was acquired when its:
"strategy and market conditions were quite different. Since then Lonely Planet has increased its presence in digital, magazine publishing and emerging markets whilst also growing its global market share, despite difficult economic conditions. However we have also recognised it no longer fits with our plans."
A strategy focused on digital and mobile content, as well as integrating its Thorn Tree forum, was laid out shortly after the BBC acquisition and while the brand has made some progress it has also faced pressure from the masses of online travel content startups on the internet.
Google acquired Frommers last summer in a deal believed to be worth between $20m and $27m. In recent weeks it began winding down the B2B division leaving travel websites looking for new content suppliers.
NC2 Media specialises in the creation, acquisition and distribution of digital content and the development of technology to facilitate this.
It's been a rough few months for Lonely Planet as it was negotiating the sale of the company to NC2.
The BBC closed the site's popular Thorn Tree forum in December last year after a complaint about content in many of its threads. It later turned out that the acting director general of the BBC was the original recipient of the complaint and a decision was made to overhaul the moderation strategy for the site.
Officials later defended the decision to shut Thorn Tree despite evidence which emerged confirming that the complaint from a writer claiming to be working with the New York Times was actually false.