OLDHAM-based James Briggs Ltd - the town's second biggest employer with staff of 300 - has been bought by Tetrosyl, the largest manufacturer and supplier of car care products in Europe.

James Briggs is the maker of the iconic WD40 brand in addition to more than 250 vehicle paints for Halfords, from its bases at Salmon Fields in Royton and its Swan Mill site in Foxdenton Lane, Chadderton.

It is one one of Europe's oldest and largest consumer chemicals businesses and was the subject of a management buyout a year ago when Paul Blackaby took over as chief executive. He will continue in that role.

In the year to June this year, the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, impairment and exceptional items was £1.5 million on a turnover of £45.4 million.

The business launched way back in 1830 and moved into Oldham from its original home in Blackley in the late 1970s.

Tertrosyl Group chairman Peter Schofield said: “We are delighted to welcome the James Briggs’ business and the James Briggs’ team to the Tetrosyl family and are sure that the combined business will have great success in the future.

“Tetrosyl leads the way in brand management with a combination of innovation, technology and design and James Briggs has many years of manufacturing experience and expertise. The strategic fit is exceptional.”

Mr Blackaby echoed Mr Schofield's delight, saying: "The business is in excellent condition, has real momentum and Tetrosyl’s ownership will ensure the longevity of the business for our customers and suppliers, whilst the combination will create opportunity for our talented and valued employees.

"I would like to thank Endless, who are now exiting their investment but who have been hugely supportive of the business over the last few years.”

Tom Jack, Partner in the Manchester office of private equity investor Endless, which acquired James Briggs in 2013, said “We hope that joining forces with a business such as Tetrosyl is an exciting outcome for the loyal workforce at James Briggs.

“We would like to thank all the James Briggs team for their hard work and absolute dedication to quality, safety and customer care, and we wish them and Tetrosyl the very best of success as this historic business continues to go from strength to strength in the future.”

James Briggs and Endless were advised by Giles Chesher and Matt Canipa at law firm Squire Patton Boggs.