Dryden Oil Co., a family-owned business in Baltimore since 1893, has reached agreement to be purchased by 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.
Dryden Chairman Lindsay Dryden Jr. said today that the company "has been built on a century of service, quality and innovation. Castrol understands that strategy and wants to move it forward."
President Lindsay Dryden III will manage the company after 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 "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, marketing metalworking, marine and automotive products, and specialty lubricants.
Thomas Crane, Castrol's president and chief executive, said, "We've long admired Dryden's reputation in the field, the dedication of its people and the quality of its products."