The UK's largest private label hosiery manufacturer and producer of the luxury Charnos brand hosiery, Adria Ltd, has been bought by private equity group Amicus Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The Belfast-based supplier of women's tights and stockings and children's socks to leading high street stores reported total sales in excess of £40 million last year and has been sold by Charnos Plc.

Its new minority shareholders include Crystal SA of Columbia and Real SpA of Italy - both of whom are key suppliers - as well as senior Adria managers.

Dr Terry McCartney, Amicus partner and Adria chairman, said the deal would provide stability to more than 1,000 workers and maintain Adria's position as one of Northern Ireland's largest employers.

He added: "We are confident that - despite some difficulties in the UK textile manufacturing sector - we will not only maintain but significantly grow this already successful business."