ConAgra Foods, Cargill, and CHS have announced a definitive agreement to combine their North American flour milling businesses to form Ardent Mills, a new flour milling company that will serve customers in the baking and food industries.
Ardent Mills will bring together two of the nation’s leading 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 flour and grain products, services, and solutions to the marketplace.
The company will offer 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, food ingredients, and culinary expertise currently available through ConAgra Foods, Cargill, and CHS.
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. Dan Dye, who currently serves as President of Horizon Milling, will lead Ardent Mills as CEO once the new company is formed. Dye will be joined by Bill Stoufer, current President of ConAgra Mills, as Ardent Mills’ Chief Operating Officer and Chief Integration Officer. The company’s operations and services will be supported by 44 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities, and a specialty bakery, all located in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The location of its headquarters will be determined at a later date.
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.
The formation of Ardent Mills is expected to be completed in late calendar year 2013, following regulatory clearances, financing, and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.