Bradford-based laundry chemical manufacturer Christeyns UK has strengthened its position in the dry cleaning sector by acquiring a family specialist West Yorkshire business.

Belgian-owned Christeyns, based in Rutland Street, East Bowling, has bought dry cleaning chemical manufacturer Cole and Wilson for an undisclosed sum.

Cole and Wilson was incorporated in 1927 and employs six people. It is the UK’s market leader in the manufacture and supply of chemicals for dry cleaning.

Christeyns UK managing director Nick Garthwaite said the acquisition would strengthen its position in the specialised sector.

He said: “We are keen to continue to lead this important sector through the excellence of our products and services, and the addition of this well-respected company to our portfolio will help us provide additional services to our customers as well as develop the sector. We’re delighted to have the Cole and Wilson team on board.”

Mr Garthwaite said the deal would enable Cole and Wilson to sell its products across Europe for the first time.

“This is a good deal for both parties as it adds to our manufacturing portfolio by adding dry cleaning products and presents wider opportunities for Cole and Wilson to expand its markets. To date, it has had no presence in European markets but we will be introducing its products across the Continent, he said.

Cole and Wilson will continue to operate from its Huddersfield base under managing director Richard Cole, who is the great grandson of one of the founding partners of Cole and Wilson. He said that joining Christeyns would inject a wider knowledge pool into the company and there were many benefits to come from being part of a global operation.

“We’ve got the products and a very good reputation in this field; being part of Christeyns will mean we can take the business to a new level and expand into Europe, too. Building on the product range through Christeyns will give us added strength and the support of a wider team of experts in this field,” said Mr Cole.

The latest expansion by Christeyns UK follows its £2.1 million purchase of Leicester-based Alex Reid 18 months ago from the Johnson Cleaning group. Reid supplies chemicals, consumables and machines to the dry cleaning sector and the deal strengthened Christeyns position in the textile care sector.

In 2012 Christeyns also bought a 50 per cent stake in Warrington food hygiene specialist Klenzan, enabling it to increase its manufacturing for the food, dairy and brewing sectors.

Reid and the Klenzan operations were merged into Christeyns operations, increasing turnover from £22 million to £46 million and doubling the number of employees from 110 to 220.

Nick Garthwaite confirmed Christeyns would seek further growth opportunities, including significant organic growth.

He said: "We maintain our commitment to keeping our manufacturing sites at Rutland Street and Eastwood Street and we are embarking on a programme on improving our manufacturing capabilities to maximise further growth ."

He said the Cole and Wilson products would be added to the Reid range of dry cleaning and laundry chemicals.

Cole and Wilson’s detergents, including dry cleaning chemicals, wet washing detergents and solvents, will feature on the Christeyns stand at the Expodetergo exhibition in Milan, Italy, in October .