McCormick has completed the acquisition of the remaining 49% of Dessert Products International (DPI) from Hero AG in exchange for its 50% interest in the Signature Brands joint venture.

McCormick had obtained a 51% interest in DPI with the acquisition of the Ducros business in August 2000. The company now owns 100% of DPI, which markets the Vahine brand in France and other European countries.

Robert Lawless, chairman, president & CEO of McCormick, said: “This action is another step in McCormick’s plan to simplify its business and focus on those areas with strong growth potential. Vahine is the leading brand of dessert aids in France and other European countries. Since acquiring a 51% interest in this business in 2000, product innovation and expanded distribution have increased sales and net income more than 50%.”

The company said that the impact of this transaction on sales and net income is expected to be negligible in this quarter. However, in the second quarter McCormick said that it anticipates a net gain after tax of US$27m. The Company has increased its projected earnings per share for 2006 from a range of $1.21-$1.24 to a range of $1.41-$1.44.