Penton Media, Hay & Forage Grower’s parent company, today has acquired Farm Progress from Fairfax Media Limited of Sydney, Australia. That significantly expands its agriculture-sector footprint, making it the largest and most-diversified agriculture information business in North America, offering live events, digital products, data, marketing services and publications.

The acquisition directly supports a key Penton strategy of increasing investment in existing sectors that offer strong long-term growth potential. 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 U.S. agriculture market coverage, connecting it to nearly 75% of the 2.2 million U.S. farms and ranches 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 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,” says Penton CEO David Kieselstein.

“The world looks to the U.S. as the center of innovation in agri-science, which gives Penton a unique opportunity to help this industry grow both domestically and internationally,” he says.

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 says.

“Farm Progress is a high-quality company – the team has delivered excellent organic revenue and EBITDA growth,” he continues. “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 Dan Bagan, Penton senior vice president. 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.

See a current listing of combined Penton Agriculture Media and Farm Progress brands below.

Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP. Learn more about the company at www.penton.com.