Leading French malt producer Malteurop, has leapt into the worldwide number one slot with its purchase of ADM Malting from Archer Daniels Midland Company.

The deal, announced on Friday (1 August), means Malteurop, already the world's third largest supplier with sales of EUR407m (US$636m), will now produce 2m tons of malt annually.

The company said it aims to raise production to 3.5m tons by 2015, and will focus on its activities in Russia and Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Malteurop, controlled by French group Champagne Céréales, confirmed to just-drinks today (4 August) that the company will begin building three new factories in Poland, Ukraine and Spain.

Malteurop declined to comment on the amount paid for ADM Malting, the biggest US malt producer with 742,000 tons annually.