McCormick expands in Mexico

February 02, 1994|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Sun Staff Writer

McCormick & Co. Inc. moved yesterday to expand its operations in Mexico through the purchase of Grupo Pesa, one of that country's leading suppliers of flavorings to the food processing industry.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

"This acquisition, which will become part of McCormick's Flavor Group, expands our industrial business into Mexico and provides a base for the continued worldwide support of our food processing customers," said Bailey A. Thomas, McCormick's chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

McCormick has been involved in Mexico since 1947 and is a well-established brand name among consumers there. It's the leading brand for such items as teas, spices, mustards and mayonnaise. Grupo Pesa does not serve the retail market.

Carroll D. Nordhoff, a McCormick executive vice president who oversees operations in the Americas, described Grupo Pesa as a company that is nearly 50 years old and highly regarded in its industry.

Mr. Nordhoff said Grupo Pesa had sales in excess of $20 million last year and employs about 200 workers.

Mr. Nordhoff said that the recently enacted North American Free Trade Agreement did not play any significant role in the acquisition. He said that some products could be exported from Mexico to other Central American counties as well as those in North and South America.

He said that McCormick will be adding some of its spice and flavoring products to those already offered by Grupo Pesa. In

return the Mexican company will supply McCormick with a line of curing salts.

But he said that would have no impact on U.S. employment. "No jobs will be lost in the U.S. as a result of this acquisition," he said.

Mr. Nordhoff said that the acquisition will help McCormick to better serve its customers in Mexico while boosting its manufacturing and warehousing operations in the country.

Last year the Sparks-based company had planned to form a European spice giant by buying Germany's largest seasoning maker and forming a joint venture with CPC International Inc., a huge food concern.

That plan was abandoned in November when antitrust regulators in Germany indicated that they wouldn't approve the purchase.

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