DENVER (AP) — Ardent Mills, a joint venture by ConAgra Mills, Cargill and CHS, began operating as the nation's largest flour milling company on Thursday, following approval by the U.S. Justice Department.
Ardent Mills, which will be based in the Denver area, combines the resources and facilities of ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a previous joint venture of Cargill and CHS. It has 40 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. It will also have satellite offices in Omaha and Minneapolis.
Some watchdog groups opposed the venture fearing it could lower prices paid to wheat farmers and raise prices for consumers. Last week, anti-trust regulators at the Justice Department said it would require Ardent Mills' parent companies to sell four mills to keep prices competitive for customers, including industrial bakers and food service companies, in the Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis and San Francisco areas.
Ardent Mills CEO Dan Dye, formerly the president of Horizon Milling, said the sales to Minneapolis-based Miller Milling, a subsidiary of Japan's Nisshin Seifun Group, have been completed.
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