Dye sees opportunity for Ardent Mills in Denver

by Josh Sosland
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WAYZATA, MINN. — As much as Denver offers many positives as the location for Ardent Mills headquarters, Daniel P. Dye, who will lead Ardent, said many considerations were involved in the company reaching its final decision.

“It really isn’t tied to any one factor,” Mr. Dye said in an interview with Milling & Baking News. “We had very good options, and it wasn’t like there was a bad choice. Denver just fit best.” Mr. Dye is president of Horizon Milling L.L.C., which is looking to merge with ConAgra Mills to create Ardent Mills.

Beyond the influences mentioned in the company announcement of the selection of Denver (see story above), including quality of life for staff and the ability to optimally service customers, Mr. Dye highlighted an intangible factor that may have given Denver an edge over alternative choices.

“From the moment we announced plans to create the company, we have emphasized the uniqueness of Ardent Mills as a carve out of Horizon Milling and ConAgra Mills from the parents into a new organization,” he said. “We want a headquarters that will help give us a fresh identity while still maintaining the tie to our parent companies.”

This consideration contributed to the decision to look to alternatives to Minneapolis, Omaha or Kansas City for the location, Mr. Dye said.

As to exactly who would end up at the Denver headquarters, Mr. Dye said mapping out the organization on a functional basis has not yet been completed, so it’s too soon to determine which functions will be headed to Denver.

Elaborating on plans to operate satellite offices in the Twin Cities and Omaha, Mr. Dye said the principal purpose would be to maintain links to the parent companies.

“We have always said we see value in the complementary nature of the three parents, with Cargill’s strength in food ingredients, CHS’s in grain origination and ConAgra Foods’ in consumer products,” he said. “We want to work with our parent companies in ways that will give us the opportunity to create value for our customers.

“When it comes to access, quality of life and the attraction and retention of talent, Denver stands out. This is a people-driven business, and we want the best talent. We did extensive assessments, and we think Denver will be a plus. It is an attractive place to draw an influx of talent, from the parent companies and beyond.”

Asked to elaborate on the term “access,” Mr. Dye did so from a number of perspectives.

“As I’ve said, we believe it will attract and retain great talent,” he said.” “It isn’t that far from Kansas State, and Colorado State is there, too. Denver is a very good hub for all of our mill locations and customers. If you look at U.S. non-stop flights — Denver is one of the busiest airports in the country.”

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