Horizon Milling/ConAgra Mills

The Situation

In March 2013, ConAgra, Cargill, and CHS announced a joint venture that would combine ConAgra Mills, a subsidiary of the food giant ConAgra, and Horizon Milling, a joint venture of Cargill and CHS, to form the largest wheat flour milling company in the US.

NERA's Role

A NERA team led by Dr. Sumanth Addanki was retained by counsel for Cargill, CHS, and Horizon, as well as by counsel for ConAgra to analyze the economic issues raised by the transaction and to assess whether the merger would result in higher prices for customers in metropolitan areas in which the parties’ combined market shares were large. The NERA team analyzed pricing and supply conditions in various markets across the nation and studied the extent to which flour from wheat-growing regions of the US flows into distant metropolitan areas in response to profit opportunities.

The Result

In May 20, 2014, the deal was approved with the divestiture of four mills from the combined network of over 40 mills.