‘Per­fect match’

Spice maker McCormick buys French’s, Frank’s RedHot food brands

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY DANICA KIRKA

U.S. spice maker McCormick & Com­pany is buy­ing the maker of French’s mus­tard and other condi­ments in a $4.2 bil­lion cash deal that it re­gards as a “per­fect match.”

The Mary­land-based com­pany fought off ri­val bid­ders to pur­chase the Reckitt Benckiser food busi­ness. The deal, dis­closed Tues­day, will cre­ate a com­bined group with an­nual sales of around US$5 bil­lion.

French’s and Frank RedHot brands will be­come McCormick’s No. 2 and 3 brands, re­spec­tively.

“RB Foods’ fo­cus on cre­at­ing prod­ucts with sim­ple, high­qual­ity in­gre­di­ents makes it a per­fect match for McCormick as we con­tinue to cap­i­tal­ize on the grow­ing con­sumer in­ter­est in healthy, flavour­ful eat­ing,” said Lawrence E. Kurz­ius, McCormick’s CEO.

The deal is part of RB’s strat­egy to re-fo­cus on con­sumer health and hy­giene prod­ucts af­ter it bought U.S. baby for­mula maker Mead John­son. The com­pany’s brands in­clude Nuro­fen, Woo­lite and Clear­asil.

“This trans­ac­tion marks an­other step to­wards trans­form­ing RB into a global leader in con­sumer health and hy­giene,” said Rakesh Kapoor, CEO of RB.

Reckitt’s food busi­ness is head­quar­tered in Ch­ester, N.J. The com­pany em­ploys 450, in­clud­ing some 360 in Spring­field, Mis­souri.

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