McCormick & Co. Picks Up Another Herb Maker

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McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MKC) has acquired Botanical Food Co. Pty. Ltd., seller of chilled packaged herbs under the Gourmet Garden brand, for $114 million.

McCormick, based in Sparks, Maryland, makes and sells spices, seasoning mixes and condiments to retailers, food manufacturers and food service businesses. With Botanical Food’s Gourmet Garden brand, McCormick plans to increase sales by expanding distribution globally and building awareness for the brand. Botanical Food is based in Australia, with $53 million in annual sales. McCormick has annual sales of $4.3 billion.

McCormick’s CEO, Lawrence Kurzius, says he anticipates strong growth for Gourmet Garden sales in the U.S.—its largest market-- and other key markets. The company exports from Australia to 15 countries.

In 2015, McCormick made a few additions to its spice rack, picking up: Brand Aromatics of Lakewood, New Jersey, seller of savory flavors, marinades, and soup broth and stock concentrates for packaged foods, for $63 million; Drogheria & Alimentari, a spice and seasoning seller in Italy, for $79 million; and One World Foods Inc., of Austin, Texas, a barbecue sauce maker also known as Stubb's Legendary Kitchen, for $100 million.

Other middle-market food deals have been completed or announced in 2016. Earlier in April, Golden State Foods of Irvine, California, a majority owner of dairy foods producer KanPak U.S. and KanPak China, picked up the outstanding minority interests of the companies. One of Golden State’s largest customers is McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD).  In March, Clearlake Capital Group acquired a stake in That’s How We Roll LLC—seller of non-genetically modified- and monosodium-glutamate-free cookies and tortilla chips--through its Better For You Holdings. Also in March, Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) agreed to buy The Fresh Market Inc. (Nasdaq: TFM) grocery store chain for $1.4 billion; and B&G Foods (NYSE: BGS) of Parsippany, New Jersey, announced plans to pursue acquisitions in the food and beverage sector

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