Dryden Oil Co., a family-owned business in Baltimore since 1893, has reached agreement to be purchased by the British-owned Castrol Inc.
If the sale is completed, Dryden will be operated as an independent unit of Castrol, said Don Bunn, vice president of marketing for Dryden.
He said no significant changes in personnel or operations are expected. Dryden employs 450 people at 18 locations along the East Coast, including 260 in Baltimore.
"There have been a number of suitors over the years," Bunn said.
In a written announcement today, Lindsay Dryden III, president of Dryden Oil, said "Affiliating with Castrol will open opportunities for us to do even more."
Dryden will manage the company following the acquisition, which the companies predicted would be completed "shortly."
Dryden is the largest, independent commercial lubricants company in the nation. It manufactures and markets a wide range of cutting fluids, motor oils and other lubricants under the brand name of "Drydene."
The company was founded making axle grease and steam cylinder lubricants.
Castrol is a Wayne, N.J.-based subsidiary of Burmah Castrol Plc of the United Kingdom. It has $400 million a year in revenues and markets products associated with metalworking, specialty lubricants, and the marine and automotive businesses.
Thomas Crane, president and chief executive officer of Castrol Inc., said, "We see Dryden Oil as a key part of Castrol's long term growth strategy . . . it fills a major gap in Castrol's lubricants portfolio."
"We've long admired Dryden's reputation in the field, the dedication of its people and the quality of its products," Crane said in a news release.
Lindsay Dryden Jr., chairman of Dryden Oil, said in the release that "Dryden Oil has been built on a century of service, quality and innovation. Castrol understands that strategy and wants to move it forward."