Ardent Mills expands into gluten-free milling with acquisition of Firebird Artisan Mills

USA – Ardent Mills has agreed to acquire the assets of Firebird Artisan Mills, as it looks to strengthen its position in the gluten-free milled grains market. 

Specializing in the milling of gluten-free specialty grains and pulses, Firebird is part of Agspring, a holding company based in Leawood, Kansas, US.  

Under the Agspring umbrella, Firebird was established in 2014 with the acquisition of the assets of Dakota Prairie Organic Flour Co. in Harvey.  

In 2017, Firebird added two production lines to the Harvey operation and said it believed the company had become the “largest 100% dedicated, certified gluten-free and allergen-free flour mill in North America.” 

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The company has been a collaborative and a well-established partner of Ardent Mills in the gluten-free and specialty ingredients space for a long time. 

The acquisition is therefore a natural progression of this solid partnership as the companies also share similar values and commitment to safety and innovation.  

The acquisition will expand Ardent Mills’ offerings of specialty ingredient solutions and provide its customers with access to the latest products, services and innovations in gluten-free milling and blending. 

Some of the gluten-free grains that Ardent Mills will be able to mill at Harvey include amaranth, teff, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and quinoa, all gluten-free and non-GMO ingredients.  

Agspring’s CEO, Mark Beemer, said: “Ardent Mills has the right expertise in bringing together strong network supply chains and operating as a nimble and flexible company”. 

The deal is expected to close by the end of this year. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

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The acquisition by Ardent Mills comes after a string of additions in recent years, adding to the company’s portfolio. 

In June this year, the Denver-based milling company acquired Hinrichs Trading Company’s operations and had earlier in 2020 acquired the quinoa operations of Andean Naturals. 

While the merger and acquisition activity of Ardent Mills has been focused on specialty grains, the company continues investing in its core wheat flour milling business, says  Ardent Mills CEO Dan Dye. 

“We are investing significantly in our core flour milling business,” he said adding that the company had invested in a new mill in Tampa, Florida which will be opened soon.  

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