Feb 10 (Reuters) - ConAgra Foods Inc is delaying a merger of its flour-milling business with Cargill Inc and CHS Inc due to the ongoing regulatory approval process, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.
The merger, dubbed Ardent Mills, would join ConAgra with Horizon Milling LLC - a joint operation between Cargill and CHS that already is the largest flour miller in the United States. The deal was first made public in March 2013 and was initially expected to be finalized late last year.
“(ConAgra) is revising the timeline to complete the Ardent Mills transaction and now expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of calendar 2014,” the company said in the filing.
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.
ConAgra in the filing said the companies were prepared to divest four flour milling facilities prior to or simultaneous with the completion of the merger. Those flour mills are Horizon’s facility in Los Angeles; and ConAgra’s facilities in Oakland, California; Saginaw, Texas; and New Prague, Minnesota.
Spokesmen for Cargill and CHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.