Ardent Mills to close four U.S. flour mills by first-quarter of 2020

(Reuters) - Ardent Mills will close three U.S. flour mills next month and a fourth in the first quarter of 2020, the flour miller and food ingredient maker announced on Friday.

The company, a joint venture between ConAgra Foods, Cargill Inc and CHS Inc, said the closures were necessary due to “anticipated demand and to enhance the efficiency of the Ardent Mills network.”

Its Macon, Georgia; Loudonville, Ohio; and Red Lion, Pennsylvania mills will close by June 30, while its Rush City, Minnesota mill will be shuttered in the first quarter of 2020, the company said in a release.

Ardent Mills did not specify how much capacity will be lost with the closures and did not provide details of any job losses at the mills.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Ardent Mills currently operates 38 flour mills and bakery mix plants in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Cynthia Osterman