The deal, which must still be approved by financial regulators, would see Chicago-headquartered Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) become a 50% owner of Aston’s corn wet mills in Ibred and Novlyanka.
The US agricultural trader has been on a push to expand its global sweetener and starch business, with acquisitions in the EU, Middle East and North Africa.
The Russian mills were located “strategically close” to major customers in the Russian food and beverage industry, the company said.
President of ADM Europe, Middle East and Africa Pierre Duprat said: “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.”
Last year ADM bought out French supplier of wheat-based glucose, starch and proteins Chamtor, which it said opened up access to key markets in Western Europe.
Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s corn processing business said: “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.”
Founded in 1997, Aston is one Russia’s largest food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. It also exports agricultural goods and vegetable oils and counts around 4000 employees.
Once approved by authorities, ADM hopes to finalise the transaction in the second quarter of 2018.
Financial details were not disclosed.