As word spread about former AOL dealmaker Michael McGowan joining Verus International Inc. as general counsel, so too did investor speculation that the food products supplier was preparing for a major mergers and acquisitions deal.   

McGowan began his new job at the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based firm Sept. 26. Verus distributes food products, including meat, condiments and vegetables, primarily in the Persian Gulf region. But the company is making moves in the U.S., most recently with its acquisition of Big League Foods Inc., which has a license to sell Major League Baseball-branded ice cream and candy for all 30 baseball teams in the MLB.