Cargill Inc. is buying Southern States Cooperative Inc.’s animal feed business, a move that expands its presence in the southern and eastern United States.

Minnetonka-based Cargill would not disclose terms of the deal. It is expected to close within the next three months.

Southern States Cooperative makes food for several agricultural animals, like cattle, goats, chickens and turkeys.

The sale includes seven feed mills and the Virginia-based cooperative’s products, brands and relationships with customers and suppliers, Cargill said Thursday. The transaction does not include any other businesses owned by Southern States.

The acquisition will fall under Cargill’s animal nutrition business, which employs more than 20,000 people at nearly 280 facilities in 40 countries.

Last month, Cargill announced it was taking a minority stake in Austria-based Delacon, a maker of natural additives for animal feed.

Cargill said the acquisition is important to its growth strategy for U.S. animal feed. Southern States operates in 23 states, primarily in the southern, eastern and northeast U.S.

“Customers are at the heart of everything we do, and this agreement will allow us to better meet their needs in this key geography,” Adriano Marcon, vice president and group director of Cargill’s animal nutrition, said in a statement. “I’m especially enthused about this partnership because it is clear that we share common core values, including a positive work environment and a commitment to delivering for our customers.”