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Penton Media buys Farm Progress, boosts agricultural offerings

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New York—Penton Media today acquired Farm Progress, a holding company that includes 23 agricultural magazine titles, four expositions, digital and broadcast products as well as investment data. Penton bought Farm Progress from Sydney-based Fairfax Media for $79.9 million. Farm Progress will become part of the Penton Agricultural Group, which Penton has described as “the largest, most diversified agriculture information business in North America.” “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, in a statement. The acquisition more than doubles Penton's position in agriculture, which already includes publications and products for farmers and pork producers. Agriculture is Penton's largest sector. “We've always had tremendous respect and admiration for Farm Progress and its products,” Kieselstein said. “We also have a clear, strategic commitment to grow our agricultural information business, and Farm Progress perfectly supports that goal.” In addition to its other agricultural services, Farm Progress' events attract more than 200,000 attendees yearly, according to Penton. Penton said the various sub-industries and geographies it shares with Farm Progress have minimal overlap and together represent “powerful strategic reach.” Farm Progress will remain based in St. Charles, Ill. Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress, will leave the company at the end of the year.
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