Warwick refuse vehicle manufacturer Dennis Eagle has been acquired by one of Spain's biggest industrial groups.

The company, which also makes cargo carriers and fire engines, said the deal with waste collection and processing firm Ros Roca would help secure jobs and allow the business to develop overseas.

Dennis Eagle, which employs about 580 people across eight UK sites including its Warwick headquarters, claimed the move was "one of the most exciting developments to impact on the global waste equipment sector".

Mike Molesworth, chief executive of Dennis Eagle, said: "The Ros Roca and Dennis Eagle businesses are complementary.

"Not only are both organisations domestic market leaders for refuse collection vehicles in their own right, they are profitable and two of the most successful companies within the waste equipment sector in Europe.

"It has long been our stated intention to develop Dennis Eagle into a truly leading international concern and this latest development will help accelerate this process," he added.

Ros Roca, which acquired the institutional shareholding of Dennis from ABN Amro Capital and LDC, already owns a number of waste operations in France, Germany and Portugal and works with a worldwide network of distributors.

The acquisition also coincides with reinvestment by Dennis Eagles's management team who will be staying on in their roles.

The combined group is expected to deliver annual turnover of around 600 million euros (#406 million).

Mr Molesworth said: "Everyone involved at Dennis Eagle, including the management team that has now been together for six years, is looking forward to taking the business to its next level of development internationally.

"Becoming part of an equally successful global group leader in waste equipment for collection, transport, processing and treatment will be pivotal to this."

Dennis Eagle has already undertaken an investment programme in an attempt to secure its position as the UK market leader in refuse vehicles and to expand its international markets.

The company said the new announcement would not affect the development of Dennis Eagle France or its other European businesses.

Mr Molesworth said: "Internationally, we have also seen our position strengthen in a number of European markets, and have signed licensing agreements that have introduced our product to China and India.

"It is our intention, therefore, to continue to invest across all levels of the business."

He added that the business was on track to deliver better-than-expected annual profit and increased sales of the group's chassis and vehicle body products.

Based in Tarrega in Catalonia, Ros Roca specialises in street-cleaning machines, vacuum systems, pneumatic waste collection and water-processing systems.

The 53-year-old group, still owned by the Roca family, employs 1,100 staff and exports to 70 countries.

Other businesses owned by the firm include French-based Eurovoirie and German firm Schorling.