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McCormick acquiring Italian flavor company for $127M

McCormick World of Flavors store in the Light Street Pavilion at the Baltimore Harborplace. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

McCormick World of Flavors store in the Light Street Pavilion at the Baltimore Harborplace. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Lawrence Kurzius promoted to McCormick Chief Executive Officer (PRNewsFoto/McCormick & Company, Incorporat)

McCormick CEO Lawrence Kurzius

McCormick & Co. announced Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Enrico Giotti SpA, a flavor manufacturer based in Florence, Italy.

Giotti is best known for its beverage, sweet, savory and dairy flavors. Its annual sales are around $56 million.

McCormick plans to buy the company for $127 million in cash, subject to some closing adjustments. Adding Giotti will let the Sparks-based spice giant expand its industrial segment, particularly among health and nutrition products, McCormick said.

Giotti will also help McCormick expand its flavor offerings in Europe, said McCormick CEO Lawrence Kurzius.

“The acquisition of Giotti is another important step in the execution of our growth strategy,” Kurzius said, “With this acquisition, we add greater scale to our already substantial industrial segment business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.”

Founded in 1928, Giotti makes natural flavors, aromatic herbal extracts and concentrated juices.  The company is privately owned.

McCormick plans to complete the transaction in December. Giotti would be the second Italian company McCormick has acquired recently; in May 2015, it purchased Drogheria & Alimentari, an Italian spice and seasonings company, for $79 million.

McCormick has been hungry for acquisitions in recent years. In the spring, the company was involved in unusually public talks with British foodmaker Premier Foods, but ultimately walked away after three bid attempts because it felt Premier’s asking price was too high.

In April, McCormick acquired Botanical Food Co., an Australian company that makes packaged herbs, for $114 million in cash. McCormick previously acquired One World Foods, Inc., maker of Stubb’s barbecue sauces, for $100 million in cash, in August 2015.

Around that time, McCormick also acquired Brand Aromatics of Lakewood, New Jersey, a maker of savory flavors, marinades, and soup broth and stock concentrates for packaged foods, for $63 million in cash.


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