JV widens Aspermont industry spread

INTERNATIONAL trade publishing and conference company Aspermont has signed a joint venture agreement that will take its successful business model into the agricultural sector for the first time.

Staff Reporter

Australian Securities Exchange-listed Aspermont is publisher of a range of Australian, United Kingdom and United States print magazines and online news services, including International Longwall News.

The joint venture agreement with leading agriculture information provider Kondinin Group and the Grain Growers Association, Australia’s largest grain producer member organisation, will lead to the growth and development of print and online information services, research, training and educational publishing products.

Aspermont holds 50% of the Kondinin Information Services joint venture, with Kondinin and the Grain Growers Association sharing the other 50%.

The publisher will invest more than $3 million over the next 3-4 years to support the joint venture’s product development across a range of agriculture business services.

The setting up of the new joint venture follows an $A18.8 million deal in April this year under which Aspermont completed the acquisition of London-based international resource sector publisher Mining Communications.

The group’s range of more than 40 print and online B2B (business-to-business) publications cover the mining, petroleum, coal, construction, logistics, biotechnology and health sectors, while the B2C (business-to-consumer) division produces the SuperLiving online resource for over-45s.

Kondinin Information Services will be based in Perth and headed by managing director Richard Price.

Aspermont CEO Colm O’Brien said the Kondinin joint venture represented an enormous opportunity for the company to strengthen the spread of its coverage into a new sector, one that was showing enormous growth.

The new venture would marry Aspermont’s great information technology and publishing experience and expertise in the development of new products with Kondinin’s extensive agri-business networks.

“We will take our experience and expertise from our more traditional sectors … and apply these to the agricultural sector and to agri-business,” O’Brien said.

“This will include publishing, training, consultancy and trade and investment conferences, all areas in which Aspermont has a significant level of experience and expertise.”

The Kondinin Group, a not-for-profit farmer-owned organisation established in 1955, produces a diverse range of information products including print and online services, training (Kondinin is a registered training organisation), educational publications and equipment evaluation services.

The Grain Growers Association provides a range of information services to more than 17,000 members on the eastern seaboard and the broader grain growing community.