Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan joined executives from Sinclair Broadcast Group, McCormick & Co. and T. Rowe Price Group on Monday to mark the three Baltimore area companies’ rise to the Fortune 500 this year.
It is the first time since 2012 that a Baltimore-area firm earned a spot on the prestigious list, which was released June 2.
T. Rowe Price ranked 447th, Sinclair 465th and McCormick 482nd on the annual list published by Fortune magazine, which ranks 500 of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue.
“This is a really big deal,” especially amid the pandemic, Hogan said. “Nothing better symbolizes the strength of Maryland’s economy and the power of our business community more than the resilience of Sinclair, T. Rowe Price and McCormick.”
Baltimore’s last Fortune 500 company was Constellation Energy, which was acquired by Chicago-based Exelon Corp. in 2012.
“It’s humbling, and it’s really special to see that three companies here in Baltimore can make the Fortune 500″ after a decade, said Christopher S. Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair, which hosted the event in expanded office space in Hunt Valley near its headquarters on Beaver Dam Road in Hunt Valley.
Sinclair’s new 46,000-square-foot office on Gilroy Road can house more than 260 employees in marketing and information technology. The broadcaster has been growing and adding employees, mainly through acquisitions, over the past five years and has been looking for space near its headquarters.
But in March 2020, just as Sinclair prepared to open a new facility, the pandemic hit and the company instead sent employees home to work remotely. Some employees had returned in the past few months, and Sinclair began a hybrid workplace model June 1, with employees working both remotely and in-person for now.
Sinclair and money management firm T. Rowe Price broke into the Fortune 500 for the first time.
Sinclair, which has 10,000 U.S. employees, had revenue of $5.9 billion last year. The company owns or operates 186 television stations in 87 U.S. markets that make up 40% of U.S. households, 21 regional sports networks and the Tennis Channel.
“We’re always looking to grow and acquire more companies, and that’s how we got to the Fortune 500, so we intend to keep going,” Ripley said in an interview Monday.
The company invested more than $11 million to buy and renovate a former Hunt Valley warehouse into new office space.
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Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price, which has $1.6 trillion in assets under management, made it onto the list this year with a 10.5% jump in sales to $6.2 billion in 2020. The money management firm has 5,000 workers in the Baltimore region.
“The Baltimore region is and has been home to much of our talent since our founding more than 80 years ago,” said David Oestreicher, T. Rowe Price’s chief legal counsel. “While Baltimore’s challenges have certainly been well documented, its successes and its assets don’t receive the same level of attention. There’s much to be proud of, yet we also recognize that still much remains to be done.
“We’re really hopeful that this [Fortune 500] recognition can act as a catalyst in seeking ways to attract new business to the city and the state at large.”
McCormick, also based in Hunt Valley, saw its revenue grow 4.7% to $5.6 billion in 2020. The 2021 rankings marked the first time the spice and flavorings maker has been in the top 500 since 1994.
The company, which opened a global headquarters in Hunt Valley in 2018, made two key acquisitions last year: the Cholula hot sauce brand in November for $800 million, and flavorings maker FONA, which McCormick bought in December for $710 million.
“Our growth last year was driven by increased demand, no question about it, for our products,” said Paul Nolan, McCormick’s vice president of tax, government affairs and strategic real estate. “Cooking at home has accelerated.”
Aerospace defense giant Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, was the highest-ranking Maryland-based company on the Fortune list at number 49, with $65.4 billion in revenue and a 9% jump in revenue. Other Maryland companies included Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications at No. 290 and Bethesda-based Marriott International at 293.