Reckitt Benckiser to sell food business to McCormick


Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB) has signed a $4.2bn agreement to sell its RB Foods to McCormick & Company on a cash-free, debt-free basis.

The food business consists of French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's brands.

RB decided to sell its foods business after a comprehensive strategic review process and intends to use the net proceeds from the deal to reduce its debt.

"Following the acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition, this transaction marks another step towards transforming RB into a global leader in consumer health and hygiene."

McCormick intends to retain brand names of French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed during the third quarter of this year.

RB chief executive officer Rakesh Kapoor said: “French's Food is well-positioned to continue on its successful growth trajectory under the food-focused ownership of McCormick.

"Following the acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition, this transaction marks another step towards transforming RB into a global leader in consumer health and hygiene, ensuring we continue to deliver for shareholders and give people innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes."

By divesting the foods business, Reckitt intends to concentrate on its recently acquired infant nutrition unit following the purchase of Mead Johnson for $18bn, reported Financial Times.