McCormick & Company Inc. has purchased all shares of FONA International, manufacturer of clean and natural flavors for the food, beverage and nutritional markets, for $710 million in cash.

Lawrence E. Kurzius, McCormick chairman, president and CEO said the acquisition reinforces the company’s global growth strategy, strengthens its capabilities and expands its technology platform. He also noted FONA will serve as the “cornerstone for accelerating McCormick’s flavor platform in the Americas.”

"This acquisition also accelerates the strategic migration of our portfolio to more value-added and technically insulated products and thus, is expected to be accretive to gross margin,” Kurzis said. “FONA's portfolio is highly complementary to McCormick's and will provide our customers with an even more comprehensive product offering to meet the growing demand for clean and flavorful eating, drinking and nutrition experiences.”

FONA's annual sales are approximately $114 million and are expected to grow at a mid-to high single-digit rate. Founded more than 30 years ago, FONA is a manufacturer of flavors, with a focus on nutritional and natural products and a well-recognized brand that McCormick plans to retain. The business is headquartered in Geneva, Illinois and has approximately 220 employees with a state-of-the art manufacturing and technical innovation center.

"The Slawek family is very proud of the customers, the employee culture and the company we have built,” said Joseph Slawek, founder, CEO and chairman of FONA International. “We are excited to see the next generation of FONA flourish as part of McCormick. We are confident McCormick will further enable FONA's forward momentum by continuing to make investments in growth initiatives, capabilities and people. Fueled by the power of McCormick, FONA's success will be accelerated. FONA, in turn, will be a key driver in advancing McCormick's global flavor leadership."