McCormick adds Old Bay products to its spice rack

November 01, 1990|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Evening Sun Staff

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 in Owings Mills is to continue to make Old Bay until the production can be assumed by McCormick's Hunt Valley operation. Simon Statter, president of Baltimore Spice, said Old Bay now is being mixed by Baltimore Spice but is being packaged by McCormick.

Statter said the sale of Old Bay did not affect employment at Baltimore Spice. The five workers who are involved in the manufacture of the seasoning will continue to work at the company, he said.

Baltimore Spice employs 175 workers in Baltimore. The company makes spices and seasonings for the food processing industry.

The sale of Old Bay 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 Baltimore Spice - except for the Old Bay line -- with its plants in Maryland, North Dakota and Nevada, 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 mix most commonly used in steaming crabs. McCormick also bought three seafood seasoning products that are sold in foil packets from Hanson.

Old Bay currently is available in 46 states, but most often is found in grocery stores in the Chesapeake Bay area.

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