BUSINESS DIGEST

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Maryland: Acquisitions

McCormick swaps dessert line stake

McCormick & Co. said yesterday that it has swapped its stake in a line of cake decorating and party products in the United States for the remaining 49 percent of Dessert Products International, a dessert products business in Europe. The Sparks spice maker did not disclose terms of the deal but said it would record a cash gain when the transaction closes. The company acquired 51 percent of DPI in 2000 as part of its $324 million acquisition of Paris-based spice company Ducros. The swap announced yesterday would give it full control over the division.

Paul Adams

Acquisitions

T. Rowe Price to buy Caterpillar funds

T. Rowe Price Inc. plans to acquire the Preferred Group of Mutual Funds managed by Caterpillar Inc.'s investment management subsidiary, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Caterpillar, which makes earthmoving and other heavy equipment, formed the mutual funds to give employees access to money managers who handled part of its retirement fund and insurance reserves. Officials at both companies declined to discuss specifics of the deal, which is subject to approval by fund boards and shareholders.

Laura Smitherman

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