McCormick closes deal to buy condiments maker for $4.2 billion

McCormick & Co. has closed a deal to buy the maker of Frank’s RedHot sauce and French’s mustard for $4.2 billion, the Sparks-based spice and flavorings maker said Thursday. The company announced plans last month to buy the food division of United Kingdom-based Reckitt Benckiser Group, a move expected to boost McCormick to a top spot as a U.S. condiment maker. Analysts have said the deal will give McCormick a more diverse product mix and less exposure to the ups and downs of the increasingly competitive U.S. spice market. McCormick said it funded the acquisition through a mix of new debt and equity. (Balt. Sun)

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Negotiators: New plan for Towson parcel likely will have no Royal Farms, gas pumps

A revised development plan for the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue in Towson likely will not include a Royal Farms store or gas pumps — two features that some neighbors of the parcel vehemently oppose in the existing plan for the site — according to Baltimore County Council Chairman Tom Quirk and officials of the site's Towson-based developer, Caves Valley Partners. "I think we have a deal on the table right now where there will be no Royal Farms — no gas station," Quirk said this week. Quirk has been leading negotiations on a new plan for the site that involves input from neighbors, community activists and Caves Valley officials. (Balt. Sun)

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Goldman Sachs buys Howard County industrial portfolio for $40.5 million

Goldman Sachs has acquired a three-building industrial portfolio in Howard County for $40.5 million. Cushman & Wakefield, which represented seller Terreno Realty Corp., announced the deal Thursday. “The desire to gain exposure to the third-wealthiest and most educated consumer population in the United States is creating a strong demand for industrial product in our market,” Jonathan Carpenter, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield, said in a statement. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. marijuana growers that missed Monday deadline could get second chance

Six of 15 pre-approved medical marijuana growers missed Monday's deadline to receive approval for a full license to operate in Maryland. But the state might give those companies a second chance. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded pre-approval to 15 grower and 15 processor businesses in August last year. Those companies had a year to get their operations up and running, including full background and financial checks and state inspections. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Maryland Sunrise Farm ahead of schedule in return to organic certification

Maryland Sunrise Farm in Gambrills has transitioned roughly half of its farm land back to organic certification, and farmer Marian Fry said the remaining land should be under certificate by next summer. In December 2013, Maryland Sunrise Farm, once Maryland's largest organic farm, decided not to re-certify their cropland or beef herd as organic. The land went out of organic status for about a year, said Fry, who runs the farm with her husband Ed. Fry attributed the change to a significant build-up of weeds and the lack of a long-term lease on the property, which the Frys sublease from Anne Arundel County. (Capital)

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Home Depot transforming store rooftops in Maryland, D.C. into 'mini solar farms'

The Home Depot Inc. is adding more energy into the farming industry — solar farming, that is. The Atlanta-based retailer announced Thursday that it will transform 50 of its store rooftops into "mini solar farms." What does that mean? Home Depot said the average store is approximately 104,000 square feet — leaving space for about 50,000 solar panels on top of each one. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Aimed at 'cord cutters,' YouTube TV expands into Baltimore market

YouTube TV, which bills itself as an alternative to cable television, is expanding into Baltimore and 13 other markets. With the new markets — including Boston, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., and Pittsburgh — YouTube TV said Thursday it is now available in 50 percent of U.S. households. YouTube TV, a Google-owned pay service, is different from YouTube, its online partner offering originally created videos. It offers nearly 50 networks, promoting itself as suitable for a generation “that loves live TV but wants it delivered in a way that suits their mobile and flexible lifestyles.” (Balt. Sun)

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Halal Guys opening first Baltimore-area location

Halal Guys, the popular New York food cart opening brick-and-mortar eateries across the U.S., is poised to make its debut in the Baltimore area. The chain is one of five new retailers set to open inside two new downtown Columbia apartment buildings. Halal Guys, known for its chicken and gyro pita wraps and platters, is listed on marketing materials for the m.flats and Ten.M apartment buildings in Columbia by retail brokerage KLNB. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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