US spice and seasoning maker McCormick & Company has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase New Orleans flavour brand Zatarain’s from Citigroup Venture Capital and other investors for US$180m in cash.

The purchase price is a approximately eight times Zatarain’s current year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, or EBITDA.

Subject to customary regulatory approvals, the purchase is expected to be completed by early June 2003 and will be financed through cash from operations and short-term credit facilities.