Penton Media today acquired Farm Progress from Fairfax Media Limited of Sydney, Australia, significantly expanding its agriculture sector footprint to become the largest and most diversified agriculture information business in North America, offering live events, digital products, data, marketing services and publications. This acquisition directly supports a key Penton strategy of increasing investment in existing sectors that offer strong long-term growth potential, and it more than doubles Penton’s position in agriculture, which becomes the company’s largest sector group. The purchase price was $79.9 million before certain adjustments.
The acquisition boosts Penton’s US agriculture market coverage, connecting it to nearly 75% of the 2.2 million farms and ranches in the US and an estimated 85% of the nation’s annual agricultural gross domestic product.
Farm Progress features four of the industry’s leading farm trade events, including the nation’s largest outdoor farm show, a robust broadcast division, and many well-established media brands. They join Penton Agriculture’s portfolio of market-leading franchises.
Agriculture: a long-term, global growth industry
“Our investment is supported by several inarguable global economic trends including rising demand for nutrition, limited arable land and water, and strong export potential for agriculture products, capital equipment and related production technology into developing countries,” said Penton CEO David Kieselstein.
“The world looks to the US as the center of innovation in agri-science, which gives Penton a unique opportunity to help this industry grow both domestically and internationally,” he said.
How Farm Progress fits into Penton
“We’ve always had tremendous respect and admiration for Farm Progress and its products. We also have a clear, strategic commitment to grow our agricultural information business, and Farm Progress perfectly supports that goal,” Kieselstein said.
“Farm Progress is a high quality company – the team has delivered excellent organic revenue and EBITDA growth,” he continued. “Moreover, this business fits with Penton’s heightened focus on properties that have high levels of user engagement. The fact that Farm Progress events attract more than 200,000 attendees from across the agriculture community every year is a prime example of that value.”
The business case for combining Penton Agriculture and Farm Progressis compelling: the two companies have deep market and content expertise, but the agriculture sub-industries and geographies they serve have minimal overlap. Together, they represent a uniquely powerful strategic reach advantage for any agriculture marketer looking to maximize their business results.
Farm Progress will become part of the Penton Agricultural Group reporting to Penton Senior Vice President, Dan Bagan. Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress, will leave the company at the end of the year.
Farm Progress will remain headquartered in St. Charles, IL.