Cargill expects flour merger with ConAgra to be finalized in 6-8 weeks

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 15 Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:39pm EDT

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 15 (Reuters) - Agribusiness company Cargill Inc expects its flour mill merger with ConAgra Foods Inc to be resolved positively in six to eight weeks, Executive Chairman Greg Page said on Tuesday.

The combined entity, to be called Ardent Mills, would join ConAgra with Horizon Milling LLC - a joint operation between Cargill and U.S. farm cooperative CHS Inc. The proposed deal was announced in March 2013 and was initially expected to be finalized late last year.

The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division was investigating the merger that would result in Ardent Mills controlling about a third of U.S. flour mill capacity.

Page, speaking on the sidelines of the Canadian Global Crops Symposium in Winnipeg, also said the United States should require animal owners and veterinarians to report the presence of a deadly pig virus, known as PEDv. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Writing by Christine Stebbins in Chicago; editing by Matthew Lewis)