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UPDATE 1-Platts to gain softs, grains with Kingsman buy
* Kingsman to expand team across agriculture
* Platts deal first discussed in June
* Jonathan Kingsman to stay on at helm
By David Brough
LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Energy price reporter Platts' purchase of sugar and ethanol consultancy Kingsman will allow it to move into covering agricultural markets, after global regulators backed away from direct supervision of oil price reporting.
Kingsman will add grains and oilseeds to its coverage after its acquisition by Platts, a division of U.S. McGraw-Hill , Kingsman's founder said.
The acquisition by Platts, already providing energy, petrochemicals and metals information, is expected to close on Nov. 1. The purchase price was not disclosed.
"Platts would like to use Kingsman as a springboard into the wider agricultural space," Jonathan Kingsman, the founder of the Lausanne-based company, told Reuters.
"We feel there is potential for us to replicate the Kingsman model in market analysis into other agricultural products, such as grains and oilseeds."
The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) was asked by the Group of 20 nations to look into the role of price reporting agencies (PRAs), including Platts, in assessing oil prices.
IOSCO decided last month on setting guidelines rather than regulation, but said it could revue that decision next year.
"It (agriculture) presents multiple opportunities for Platts to develop benchmarks that support market evolution and enhance price transparency," Platts said in a statement.
Kingsman said his team will expand after the acquisition by Platts, but he gave no details.
Founded in 1990, Kingsman employs analysts, researchers and report writers, serving a global clientele of producers, traders, refiners, financial institutions and end-users, offering subscription publications covering sugar, ethanol and biodiesel.
Kingsman also organises conferences and seminars around the world about the sugar and biofuel industry.
Kingsman, 55, said he planned to stay on at the forefront of the business for at least the next five years.
"My wish is to stay on until I am 60 and, if I am still enjoying it, longer than that," he said.
Kingsman is exiting the brokerage business as it moves deeper into market information and analysis.
"When we moved to Switzerland five years ago, it was our intention to wind down brokerage and build up the market analysis and information business," he said.
Analysts see over-capacity in sugar brokerage as the number of big trade houses has multiplied in recent years.
Kingsman said the Platts deal had arisen very quickly.
"We only started talking about it in June. By joining up with Platts, I believe we should be able to improve our reports, and produce more, and better price discovery and more analysis - and cover more markets in detail," he said.
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