McCormick adds Old Bay products to its spice rack

McCormick & Co., the Hunt-Valley based seasonings company, has added another spice to its rack.

The company announced yesterday that it has acquired the Old Bay product line for an undisclosed price. The deal was negotiated in late August but made public yesterday. Both companies said they did not announce the sale because they did not consider it to be a major transaction.


Under the terms of the agreement, the Baltimore Spice plant was to continue to make Old Bay until the production could be assumed by McCormick's Hunt Valley operation. It could not be learned immediately whether McCormick has begun to make the Old Bay products.

The sale was the third piece of Baltimore Spice to be sold by Hanson Industries, the U.S. arm of Hanson PLC. The company first sold operations in Texas. Then in early July, it sold the Baltimore Spice plant on Reisterstown Road to Fuchs Gewuerze GmbH, a German spice manufacturer, for $23.9 million.


In August, McCormick bought the Old Bay trademark formula and retail business best known for the popular Old Bay spice that is used to season crabs. McCormick also bought three seafood seasoning products that are sold in foil packets from Hanson.

"We were offered a very attractive price for it and it was in the best interest of our shareholders," said Karen Levy, a spokeswoman for Hanson Industries.

Allen McC. Barrett Jr., a McCormick spokesman, said the acquisition provides McCormick some distribution channels into the seafood business that it did not already have.

Barrett said he did not know whether McCormick plans to distribute Old Bay outside of the Maryland region.