Ruddick Corp., Charlotte, N.C., parent of Harris Teeter here, said last week it has reached an agreement for its other principal subsidiary, American & Efrid, a leading manufacturer and distributor of industrial apparel thread, to purchase a leading British manufacturer of industrial non-apparel thread. Ruddick's American & Efrid (with sales of $355 million, will pay approximately $93 million for all outstanding stock of Hicking Pentecost, with sales of about $200 million). The acquisition is expected to foster American & Efrid's expansion in Europe, the Indian subcontinent and East Asia. It is not expected, however, to have much effect on Harris Teeter. "It was simply a great opportunity for us to diversify and grow," Katherine Kenney, Ruddick's vice president, investor relations, told SN.