News Column

Penton Media Buys Farm Progress for $79 Million

Nov 13, 2012

Robert Channick

Penton Media has purchased St. Charles-based Farm Progress for $79.9 million, significantly boosting its footprint in the U.S. agricultural market, the company announced Tuesday.

Farm Progress, which was previously owned by Australian company Fairfax Media Limited, includes 18 state and regional magazines -- everything from Nebraska Farmer to the Prairie Farmer in Illinois -- as well as major trade events and digital products.

The deal makes New York-based Penton the nation's largest agricultural information business, reaching 75 percent of the 2.2 million farms and ranches across the U.S., according to Penton CEO David Kieselstein.

"We're extremely bullish on the agriculture sector for long-term growth," Kieselstein said. "That fits with our strategy of doubling down in sectors where we see long-term growth potential."

Farm Progress dates back nearly two centuries, with one of its titles -- Prairie Farmer -- continuously published since 1841. The company will remain headquartered in St. Charles and will become part of the Penton Agricultural Group. Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress, will leave at the end of the year, according to Penton executives.

Source: (c)2012 the Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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