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New owner plans Kondinin growth

THE Kondinin Group’s new parent company is promising there will be no rationalisation of the 53-year-old farm research provider’s services as it merges with its new Perth-based owner.

In fact, Aspermont Limited wants to expand Kondinin’s popular on-farm research and product testing services, expanding information services to farmers by tapping into government-based research and resources and initiating training programs.

Aspermont’s strength is in the minerals, energy and construction sectors where it supplies online information services and print publications such as Australia’s Mining Monthly, the 170-year-old London based Mining Journal, and a US coal industry magazine.

It has 13 print magazines and 12 online news services and also runs conferences.

Like Kondinin, it commissions practical research and consultancy reports specifically focused on assisting participants the mining and construction sector.

Aspermont became a joint partner in the demutualised Kondinin group in 2008, with majority stakeholder Grain Growers Association.

Chief executive officer, Colm O’Brien, said there was no danger of scaling back Kondinin’s regional office representation at Toowoomba in Queensland or Wagga Wagga in southern NSW.

“We’ve worked with Kondinin as a partner for nearly three years and are delighted to consolidate our relationship through this share repurchase,” he said.

“The strong Kondinin Group and Farming Ahead brands align closely to Aspermont’s existing brands in terms of independence of editorial content, longevity in the marketplace and strong brand recognition.”

The Kondinin business was likely to add approximately $3m of turnover to Aspermont operations, which involve about 80 Australian staff and 40 in Europe and the US.

Outgoing Kondinin chief executive officer, Richard Price, will continue in a new role, assisting to develop its strategy and industry engagement plans.

Kondinin board chairman and southern NSW farmer, Graham Barron, is retiring, but Aspermont intends to establish a larger farmer-based advisory board later this year.

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