Joele Frank supports comms around McCormick's $4.2 billion deal

McCormick & Co. is acquiring Reckitt Benckiser's food business, which includes French's mustard and Frank's Red Hot sauce.

Taken from Facebook
Taken from Facebook

SPARKS, MD: McCormick & Co. has engaged the services of Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher to support comms around its acquisition of Reckitt Benckiser’s food division.

This $4.2 billion transaction will add French’s mustard, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, and Cattlemen’s brands to McCormick’s portfolio once it closes, which is expected to be in Q3 or Q4 of 2017. It’s being funded through debt and equity.

Lori Robinson, McCormick’s VP of corporate branding, comms, and community relations, said via email the spice maker has been working with Joele Frank for almost a year. APCO Worldwide has been the company’s lead on consumer and corporate PR work in the U.S. since the end of 2016.

Credit Suisse is advising the brand, while Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton serves as legal counsel.

A representative for Joele Frank didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment as of press time.

Joele Frank ranked third on Mergermarket’s PR advisors league table by deal value ($151 billion) for M&A activity for the first half of 2017. It also ranked third by volume (77 transactions) during that same period.

Reckitt Benckiser Group is pivoting away from the food business to consumer health products, The New York Times notes. The British consumer goods conglomerate bought Mead Johnson Nutrition in February for $16.6 billion.

Speculation about the "next round of consolidation in the packaged-food business" continues, Bloomberg reports. After the failure of Kraft Heinz’s attempt to take over Unilever, analysts said Unilever was a possible bidder for the Reckitt business.

That deal was the source of a conundrum involving Finsbury and FTI Consulting. Joele Frank was also reportedly brought on to help advise Kraft Heinz.

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