USA – ADM has announced an agreement to acquire 50% stake in Aston Foods, one of Russia’s largest producers of foodstuffs and ingredients and a leading exporter of agricultural goods and vegetable oils, as part of its expansion in the corn wet mill business.

Under the terms of the agreement, ADM will become 50% owner of Aston’s corn wet mills in Ibred and Novlyanka, which are strategically located close to major customers in the Russian food and beverage industry.

“ADM has substantially added to our global sweeteners and starches capabilities with acquisitions serving the European Union, Middle East and North Africa markets, and now we are expanding to serve the growing Russian food and beverage industry,” said Pierre Duprat, president, ADM Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Aston is a key player in this important market, and we look forward to joining them and bringing our experience and capabilities to help our new jointly-owned business grow.”

Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Corn Processing business said the investment was the latest in a series of important additions and enhancements they have made to grow their global corn business.

“Last year, we completed our acquisition of Chamtor, opening up access to key markets in Western Europe.

In 2015 and 2016, we acquired corn facilities in Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and Morocco, then launched a significant expansion effort to enhance our capabilities in those businesses.

And we’ve grown significantly in Asia, with our sweetener facility in Tianjin as well as several animal feed plants.

Taken together with this expansion into Russia, these global additions represent a substantial transformation for our Corn business as we continue our geographical growth and diversification.”

ADM is targeting a close for the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, late in the second quarter of 2018.

Additionally, this acquisition deal comes just a month after ADM reached an agreement to buy its smaller rival Bunge Ltd, as was reported by Bloomberg and other unnamed sources familiar with the matter.