The move is seen as pivotal in allowing an even larger transaction to move forward -- the creation of Ardent Mills through the combination of the remaining milling operations of ConAgra Foods Inc. and Horizon Milling L.L.C.
The four mills with a combined daily flour milling capacity of 62,500 cwts will be acquired at a price of $215 million. Nisshin said completion of the transaction, expected in May, is subject to U.S. regulatory approval.
ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Horizon announced in February that the four mills (out of 44 operated by the companies) would be offered for sale in an effort to address regulatory concerns in connection with the creation of a joint venture named Ardent Mills, what would be the largest milling company in the United States. Completion of the j.v., first announced in March 2013, has been delayed because of regulatory concerns.
With the four additional mills, Nisshin will be poised to become the fourth largest U.S. milling company, lagging only Ardent Mills (pending completion of that transaction), ADM Milling Co. and another new business to be created when Milner Milling Co. acquires Cereal Food Processors, Inc. (a transaction announced in March, still pending completion).