ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS recently announced that their new joint venture flour milling company, Ardent Mills, would begin operations on or about May 29, 2014. The announcement followed the conclusion of regulatory review by the U.S. Department of Justice and the successful completion of all international regulatory clearances. The transaction remains subject to financing and other certain customary closing conditions.
As announced in March 2013, Ardent Mills will bring together two of the nation’s leading and most respected flour milling companies: ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a Cargill-CHS joint venture formed in 2002. The new company will take advantage of the combined assets, capabilities and experience of ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS to bring innovative flour and grain products, services and solutions to the marketplace. Ardent Mills will operate as an independent joint venture of its three parent companies, Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods, Minneapolis, Minn.-based Cargill and St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS.
ConAgra Foods and Cargill expected to complete the sale of four flour milling facilities prior to May 29 to Miller Milling Company – a U.S.-based subsidiary of Tokyo-based Nisshin Flour Milling Inc. Following the completion of the joint venture, Ardent Mills’ operations and services will be supported by 40 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Ardent Mills will offer a unique set of services, including product development resources, technical and application support, supply chain management and commodity price risk management. Ardent Mills also will tap the market knowledge, transportation logistics, consumer insights, wheat sourcing capabilities, food ingredients and culinary expertise currently available through ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS.
As previously announced, Ardent Mills’ headquarters will be located in Denver. The new company is expected to have a presence in downtown Denver starting in 2014. In addition to its headquarters, Ardent Mills will operate satellite offices in Omaha, Neb., and Minneapolis, Minn.ConAgra Foods and Cargill will each own a 44% stake in Ardent Mills, with CHS owning a 12% interest. All three companies will have representatives on Ardent Mills’ board of directors.