Ardent Mills picks Denver area for headquarters

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DENVER — Ardent Mills, the new flour milling joint venture of ConAgra Foods Inc., Cargill and CHS Inc., has chosen the Denver area for its headquarters, beating out the Kansas City, Minneapolis and Omaha, Neb., areas.

The specific site hasn’t been chosen yet, but the companies and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office said Tuesday that Ardent Mills is expected to have a presence in the Denver area starting in 2014, pending final approval of incentive packages.

State officials estimate the operation could mean 250 jobs for Colorado. The amount of incentives the company could receive wasn’t immediately known, since it will vary depending on the specific location.

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Ardent Mills brings together the flour milling giants ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, which is a joint venture of Cargill and CHS.

The companies said when they announced the venture in March that Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra and Minneapolis-based Cargill each will have a 44 percent stake in Ardent Mills. St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS will own 12 percent.

ConAgra Mills already has ties to Colorado, with mill facilities in Commerce City and Denver. It also has relationships with Colorado farmers, industry groups and universities.

Ardent Mills will have several customers with large bakery operations in the Denver area, Cargill spokeswoman Lori Fligge said. She also listed the Denver area’s central location, size, and amenities including its culture and outdoors areas in choosing Colorado for its home base.

Horizon Milling President Dan Dye will be CEO, while ConAgra Mills President Bill Stoufer will be Ardent Mills’ chief operating officer and chief integration officer.