Ardent Mills, biggest flour maker, now operating

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Associated Press

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 5:03 PM

DENVER (AP) — Ardent Mills, a joint venture by ConAgra Mills, Cargill and CHS, is now the nation's largest flour milling company.

The new company announced that it began operating Thursday, following approval by the U.S. Justice Department.

Ardent Mills has 40 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. It will be based in the Denver-area and has 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. The company says it will provide more opportunities for farmers in the market.

The Justice Department required Ardent Mills' parent companies to sell four mills to keep prices competitive in Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis and San Francisco.

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