McCormick to Buy Italian Season Maker

Spice seller McCormick & Co. is adding some Italian flavor to its lineup by paying up to $97 million for the more than century-old Drogheria & Alimentari.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Spice seller McCormick & Co. is adding some Italian flavor to its lineup by paying up to $97 million for the more than century-old Drogheria & Alimentari.

Based in Florence, Italy, Drogheria & Alimentari is a privately-held company that sells sea salt, lemon juice and other seasonings under several brand names. It was founded in 1880.

McCormick, whose headquarters are in Sparks, Maryland, said the deal will help it further expand into Europe. The acquisition is expected to be completed by May.

Drogheria & Alimentari has annual sales of about $57 million, McCormick said, with about 80 percent of that coming from products sold in Italy. It exports its seasonings to 60 other countries. McCormick plans to work with Drogheria & Alimentari's owners to increase sales.

McCormick will initially pay about $57 million in cash for Drogheria & Alimentari. Depending on how Drogheria & Alimentari's performs, McCormick will also make an additional payment of up to $40 million in 2018.

McCormick is known for its bottles of seasonings and spices topped with a bright red cap. The company also sells Old Bay seasoning, Zatarain's flavored rice and Simply Asia noodle bowls.

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