In a bid to streamline its UK milling operations, food and ingredients group Associated British Foods is to sell its British third party flour milling business to ADM Milling, a wholly owned subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland.
The sale, subject to regulatory approval, includes flour mills at Edinburgh, Castleford, Knottingley, Liverpool, Corby and Tewkesbury.
ABF chief executive Peter Jackson commented: "The disposal leaves ABF with a very effective, integrated flour milling operation, streamlining flour supplies to Allied Bakeries in a very competitive market."
The parts of the business expected to be sold to ADM generated sales of £96 million (€150m), outside the ABF group, in the year to 14 September 2002 and had net tangible assets of £41 million at 14 September 2002.
ABF's remaining UK mills at Tilbury, Manchester and Belfast will now concentrate on providing the supply of flour to its Allied Bakeries business, the seller of Kingsmill and other bread brands. It will also retain the existing milling operations of Westmill Foods.
Last month ABF reported double-digit operating profit growth, with pre-tax profits rising to £430 million (€670.5 million) for the year to 14 September 2002.