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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Flour power: ConAgra, Cargill and CHS combine milling, (NYSE: CAG)

Giant U.S. food and grain-handling companies ConAgra Foods Inc, Cargill and CHS Inc on Tuesday said they plan to combine their North American flour milling businesses into a new company called Ardent Mills.The venture, which the companies expect to launch later this year, encompasses 44 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery, with locations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.The venture will aim to serve bakery and food companies with more cost-effective supply chains and more innovative products and processes, the companies said in a joint statement. By combining operations, which last year did roughly $4.3 billion in sales, the three also hope to better handle commodity price volatility and increasingly sophisticated food safety requirements, they said."The future of flour milling is tied to serving the innovation and supply chain management challenges of food producers," Scott Portnoy, corporate vice president of Cargill, said in a statement. "It (Ardent Mills) will have the knowledge and experience to help customers develop foods that appeal to consumers' changing taste and texture preferences, while also meeting their nutritional needs."

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (ConAgra Foods) is a food company. Shares of CAG traded higher by 0.55% or $0.19/share to $34.88. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $23.64 and as high as $34.76. On average, 4008430 shares of CAG exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1104718.