ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG), Cargill and CHS Inc. are forming a joint venture, called Ardent Mills, which will combine the companies’ capabilities to form a flour and grain product company.
The joint venture will bring together ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a Cargill/CHS joint venture formed in 2002. The companies expect farmers and cooperatives to benefit.
Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra and Cargill, headquartered in Minneapolis, will each own a 44 percent stake in the joint venture. St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS will own 12 percent. Ardent Mills’ formation is expected be complete by the end of 2013.
Cargill is a food producer that makes food ingredients. CHS is an agriculture business, owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives that supplies energy, crop nutrients and grain marketing services, as well as food ingredients and livestock feed. ConAgra’s brands include ReddiWip, Hunt’s, Healthy Choice and Chef Boyardee. The company agreed to buy Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH), which makes private-label snacks, for $6.8 billion in November.
Jones Day was ConAgra’s legal counsel.