Spice maker McCormick buys Reckitt Benckiser’s food brands

(WISH Photo, file)

LONDON (AP) — U.S. spice maker McCormick & Company has bought Reckitt Benckiser’s food business in a $4.2 billion deal.

The American company fought off rival bidders to purchase French’s mustard and Frank’s RedHot brands.

The deal will create a combined group with annual sales of around $5 billion.

Lawrence E. Kurzius, McCormick’s CEO, says the deal will allow the company to create “an even more diverse and complete flavor product offering.”

It comes as Reckitt re-focuses the group on consumer health and hygiene products after it bought U.S. baby formula maker Mead Johnson in a move that will help the company grow in China.

Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley says Reckitt “is achieving a very attractive valuation for a North American food business, in our view.”

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