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Thursday, July 20, 2017

McCormick & Company has agreed to acquire Reckitt Benckiser’s food business for US$4.2 billion, in a deal that includes the Frank’s RedHot, French’s Mustard and Cattlemen’s barbecue sauces brands.

The acquisition brings a stable of well-known condiment brands to McCormick and may help the company to expand overseas, according to a New York Times article.

Reckitt, which has owned the French's brand since the 1920s and announced in April that it wanted to sell its food business, can now focus on its infant nutrition unit after buying Mead Johnson for $16.6 billion earlier this year, the news report says.

The deal comes as speculation swirls about the next round of consolidation in the packaged-food business. In February, Kraft Heinz Co. was spurned in a blockbuster bid to take over Unilever. In the aftermath of the failed Kraft talks, analysts cited Unilever as a possible bidder for the Reckitt business. Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, also may be shaking up its portfolio. Under activist pressure to improve results, it’s considering selling its U.S. candy operations.

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