Hunt Valley, MD—McCormick & Company Inc. has purchased 100% of the shares of FONA International, LLC, and certain of its affiliates, according to a press release. The business was acquired for $710 million in cash.

"McCormick has a history of creating value through acquisitions,” said Lawrence E. Kurzius, Chairman, President, and CEO of FONA, in the press release. “As we continue to build the McCormick of the future and create long-term shareholder value, we are confident this is a great strategic fit with our vision of being a leading flavor company. The employees of FONA share with McCormick a great history and commitment to core values and purpose, doing what is right while driving industry leading financial performance, and we look forward to welcoming them to the McCormick family. Together we will achieve continued success.”

Founded more than 30 years ago, FONA is a manufacturer of clean and natural flavors for the food, beverage, and nutritional markets. The company’s annual sales are approximately $114 million, and are expected to grow at a mid- to high-single-digit rate. It is headquartered in Illinois and has approximately 220 employees, as well as what the press release calls a state-of-the-art manufacturing and technical innovation center. McCormick intends to retain the brand for recognition purposes.

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"FONA is well known in the market, in part because of its strong customer engagement platform, talented employees and investments in its future, which have driven growth for both FONA and its customers," Kurzius said. "FONA will be the cornerstone for accelerating McCormick's flavor platform in the Americas. With our passion for flavor, focus on insight-driven innovation and differentiated customer engagement, we look forward to continuing and building upon the legacy created by the Slawek family."

McCormick anticipates that this acquisition will drive shareholder value long-term by broadening the product offering, expanding company capabilities and technology platform, and strengthening leadership in the clean and natural segment. McCormick also expects that the brand will help drive margin expansion.

Joseph Slawek, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of FONA International, commented: "The Slawek family is very proud of the customers, the employee culture and the company we have built. We are excited to see the next generation of FONA flourish as part of McCormick. We are confident McCormick will further enable FONA's forward momentum by continuing to make investments in growth initiatives, capabilities and people. Fueled by the power of McCormick, FONA's success will be accelerated. FONA, in turn, will be a key driver in advancing McCormick's global flavor leadership."