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NZX set to sell Australian Crop Forecasters, ProFarmer

by Henry Wells, 21 June 2018

AUSTRALIAN Crop Forecasters and ProFarmer Australia are on the market as their owner, the New Zealand Stock Exchange-listed entity, NZX, seeks to sell its remaining grain data assets in Australia.

NZX chairman James Miller reported to the NZX annual general meeting in Christchurch in April the company’s intention to sell these non-core businesses.

NZX bought agricultural data research and information businesses, ProFarmer and Australian Crop Forecasters, along with Callum Downs Commodity News, between 2008 and 2010.

The purchases were part of NZX’s move into providing cross-Tasman information with a focus on the dairy and grain industries.

Its agricultural intelligence base included media interests in New Zealand and information portal, Agrifax.

ProFarmer Australia and Australian Crop Forecasters provide supply-and-demand analysis and Australian price data to subscription clients.

NZX also owned Clear Grain Exchange during its period of expansion in grain-market intelligence assets, and this company was subject to a management buy-out in 2017.

NZX last month sold the NZ masthead, Farmers Weekly, to a company owned by the Williamson family, from which it bought the publication in 2009.

“We are pleased all 15 staff members will transition with the sale of the business,” NZX chief executive officer, Mark Peterson, said.

The sale of Farmers Weekly would take effect on 1 July 2018.

NZX Consultant Ron Storey confirmed that NZX was aiming to sell the well-established brands ProFarmer and Australian Crop Forecasters in coming months.

Mr Storey said business information had been provided to a number of parties and that, as a publicly listed company, NZX would keep the market informed.

Auckland-based NZX head of communications, Hannah Lynch said “NZX will provide a further update to the market on the sale of its Melbourne based grain data business in due course.”

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