ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG), CHS (NASDAQ:CHSCP), and privately held Cargill are to merge their North American flour-milling operations. The resulting joint venture, Ardent Mills, will boast 44 flour mills, three bakery mix factories, and a specialty bakery. These assets are all located in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.

ConAgra Foods and Cargill will each hold a 44% stake in the joint venture, while CHS will own the remainder. All three companies will be represented on Ardent Mills' board.

In the joint press release announcing the move, the companies said that they intend for the new joint venture "to be self-financed through cash flow from operations and its own bank debt and credit facility."

The companies expect that the formation of Ardent Mills will be finalized later this year.

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