Penton Media Acquires Farm Progress for Almost $80 Million

Penton Media has more than doubled the size of its agricultural business, purchasing tradeshow and media producer Farm Progress Companies for $79.9 million on Tuesday.

Penton bought the firm from Fairfax Media Limited of Sydney, Australia.

The acquisition brings Penton to about 1.5 million farms, or close to 75 percent of America’s total number, according to the press release.

Farm Progress operates four of the industry’s largest annual events, including the Farm Progress Show, the country’s largest outdoor farm show, which is estimated to attract more than 100,000 attendees each year.

The group also publishes 23 regional and national titles and owns it’s own broadcast network, Farm Progress 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,” says David Kieselstein, CEO of 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.”

Despite their respective sizes, Penton and Farm Progress currently have minimal overlap, according to the release.

Farm Progress, which will remain headquartered in St. Charles, Illinois, will be housed under Penton’s Agricultural Group and report to Dan Bagan, senior vice president of the group. Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress, will leave the company at the end of the year.

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