BBC to rein in Worldwide

Division to be banned from mergers and acquisitions and to sell off operations not in keeping with BBC brand.
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The BBC Trust has laid down a series of future changes for its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, said that the boundaries for Worldwide activity needed to be clearer.

The changes include an end to mergers and acquisitions unless there are exceptional circumstances; a clearer focus on securing value from the BBC's own IP; an exit from any activity not in keeping with the BBC brand; and divestment of stakes in non-BBC branded international channels over time where it makes commercial sense.

The Trust would also no expect to consider a commercial deal of the scale and nature of the Lonely Planet acquisition in the future. It also ordered that Worldwide become a more internationally facing business.

"Worldwide is a successful business which brings both significant financial benefits for the licence fee payer and a tangible boost to the creative economy," said Lyons. "Our commercial operations are not exempt from the BBC's public mission. They must keep the public purposes at their heart, engaging carefully with markets globally to help 'bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK', whilst protecting and promoting the BBC's brand and reputation."


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