BBC Worldwide, the Corporation’s commercial arm, has sold its magazine division in a deal worth £121 million.
The majority of its titles have been snapped up by Exponent, which currently publishes a range of parenting, motorcycling and outdoor magazines.
It will take over non-BBC branded magazines outright, including the Radio Times, as well as the rights to publish BBC-branded titles such as Top gear and Lonely Planet in a licensing and contract publishing deal which allows the BBC to retain a “strong continuing editorial interest”.
The “majority” of staff and operations will make the move to the new company following the completion of the deal, which should happen by the end of autumn, according to BBC Worldwide.
The magazines division brought in revenues of £164.5m in the 12 months to April, according to the latest figures.
“The deal announced today offers the best prospects for the magazines business to continue on this path of success, while BBC Worldwide pursues a strategy increasingly focused on international video and digital services,” said the BBC Worldwide chief executive, John Smith. “The consumer magazines market faces a number of challenges, and this transaction brings a focus and degree of investment that BBC Worldwide alone is unable to provide.”