Ardent Mills announces intent to buy Canada flour milling plant from Mondelēz

By Hal Conick

- Last updated on GMT

Ardent Mills eyes geographic expansion after snapping up Mondelēz's Ontario mill
Ardent Mills eyes geographic expansion after snapping up Mondelēz's Ontario mill

Related tags: Ardent mills, Wheat, Flour

Denver-based Ardent Mills has announced it's intention to purchase a flour-milling plant in Ontario, Canada, from Mondelēz Canada.

This mill produces both hard and soft flour for Canadian bakeries and food manufacturers across Canada. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal is expected to close in three weeks.

Growing in the Great White North

Ardent Mills CEO Dan Dye told BakeryandSnacks.com that this move will make Ardent Mills the third largest miller in Canada, behind ADM and Parrish and Heimbecker Limited. He said the mill will continue to operate “business as usual”​ until the close of the deal.

“We expect the transition to be pretty much seamless for our customers. It’s a really nice, strategic fit for us in Canada."

This purchase will add to Ardent Mills’ mills in Saskatoon and Montreal, as well as their bakery mixing facility in Burlington and an administrative office in Ontario. He said the move was “very attractive” ​for filling out their business in Canada.

Ontario is where Ardent Mills has seen the highest consumption of flour and grain-based food products, Dye said. With a growing market place there, as well as in Toronto, he said the demand and strategic fit were too good for the company to pass up and a logical place to grow.

“This will allow us to have a good presence and a broader geographic footprint,”​ Dye said. “This is an important step for us and we’ll see where we go from there. It’s a goal and a desire of our business to grow and an important step forward for us.”

Facility, team in tact

Dye said all of the current team at this facility will be offered employment at Ardent Mills.

“It’s a great team of people who have done a terrific job of operating the mill,”​ he said. “They’ve given outstanding customer service and have a great safety track record.”

As far as repairs and expansions go, Dye said the team at the facility has done a good job keeping the place in working order. There will likely be investments and ongoing repairs as part of the plan, as well as eventual plans to grow, but he said the mill is in “excellent shape” currently.

So why did Mondelēz decide to sell? Dye said while he couldn’t speak to the exact reason, he said they “looked at their overall strategy and made the decision”.

Mondelēz Canada spokeswoman Stephanie Cass told BakeryandSnacks.com that the company decided to sell as this location became difficult to maintain as a “viable, efficient operation”​.

“Following a review of the mill and its roles within North America, we decided to sell,”​ she said. “We believe this is best for the mill, and we believe that Ardent Mills will be able to provide the focus and expertise required to grow the mill.”

Future innovation

Dye said the plant will continue to mill soft wheat and hard wheat flour, but once the company has a chance to close and look at the customer base and opportunities, they may look at “innovative new products”​ that could be produced at this facility.

“Looking for new ways to serve the customer base there, and we’re excited to explore that,” ​he said. “I think we continue to look for ways to meet consumer choices.”

The company always wants to be looking for “that next opportunity,”​ according to Dye, such as organic flour and sprouted wheat flour. It is about listening to customers and consumers and adapting to their needs, something Dye said this mill gives them a better chance to do. 

Editor's note:​ The original version of this article stated that Ardent Mills had announced the acquisition of the mill, but it should have stated that Ardent Mills had announced its intent to purchase the mill but the deal had not been concluded at the time of publication. We apologize for this error. 

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