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McCormick Buys Italian Flavor Maker Giotti to Expand in Europe

Dealmakers of food ingredient businesses include ConAgra, Highlander and Vantage Specialty

McCormick & Co. (NYSE: MKC) is buying Enrico Giotti S.p.A., an Italian manufacturer of flavors and extracts, for nearly $127 million in cash. Expected to close by year end, the acquisition will expand McCormick’s products and research and development capabilities in Europe.

Giotti, founded in 1928, makes “natural” flavors, herbal extracts and concentrated juices from its headquarters in Florence, Italy. The target produces a variety of flavors and semi-finished products for the food, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. The deal is expected to grow McCormick’s industrial segment with additional expertise in flavoring health and nutritional products. Giotti reports $56 million in annual sales.

McCormick, headquartered in Sparks, Maryland, is a global manufacturer and distributor of spices, condiments and seasoning mixes. The buyer most recently reported nearly $4.3 billion in annual sales and also added Australian herb maker, Botanical Food Co. Pty. Ltd., to its list of brands in 2016. In 2015, McCormick made a few additions to its spice rack by purchasing: Brand Aromatics, a seller of savory flavors, marinades, and soup broth and stock concentrates for packaged foods, for $63 million; Italian spice maker Drogheria & Alimentari for $79 million; and One World Foods Inc., a barbecue sauce maker also known as Stubb's Legendary Kitchen, for $100 million.

Recent food ingredient deals include: Vantage Specialty Chemicals Inc.’s buying oil and shortenings maker Mallet and Co. Inc. to expand into the ingredients business; ConAgra Foods Inc.’s (NYSE: CAG) sale of JM Swank, distributor of grains, sweeteners and seeds, to Platinum Equity; ConAgra’s completed deal to sell Spicetec, a maker of flavors, spices and seasoning products for food manufacturers, to Givaudan for $340 million; middle-market private equity firm Highlander Partners’ acquisition of Fuerst Day Lawson Holdings Ltd., a distributor of amino acids, syrups and sweeteners for foods, beverages, fragrances and chemical companies.

 

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