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Gooch & Houesgo acquires General Optics

10 Jul 2008

The $21 million acquisition of General Optics by Gooch and Housego gives the company a new route into the aerospace and defence sector.

UK-headquartered Gooch & Housego (G&H) is acquiring the business and assets of General Optics, US, from the GSI Group for USD21 million (EURO 13.3 million), subject to regulatory approval. The move increases G&H's presence in the US aerospace and defence sector.

"General Optics' position in super-polished optics is highly complementary to our precision optics manufacturing capabilities in Ilminster, UK," said Gareth Jones, Chief Executive of G&H. "It also extends our reach by providing us with access to the important US aerospace & defence sector, as well as a presence in what is the world's largest market for high-end optics."

As well as super-polished optics, General Optics manufactures ultra-high quality optical components and coatings for the aerospace and defence sector. The company also serves the telecommunications, semiconductor, metrology, biomedical and research markets, and is a leading supplier of ring laser gyroscope mirrors and frames to manufacturers of inertial navigation systems.

For the 12 months ended 31 December 2007, General Optics had revenues of US$11.7 million. The company operates from manufacturing facilities located in Moorpark, California, where it employs 87 people. The move brings G&H's total global workforce up to 442.

"There is no plan to move or relocate General Optics," G&H's marketing communications manager Niki Phelps told optics.org. "The company will come under the G&H wing. Our production teams here in the UK will talk to those at General Optics and vice versa."

G&H united its subsidiaries under the Gooch and Housego brand name at the beginning of 2008 and, although the deal is still in a 60 day cooling off period, Phelps expects the General Optics acquisition to follow the same branding trend.

"General Optics will come under the G&H brand," she explained. "General Optics has a good reputation in the industry and a loyal customer base that will be made aware of any name change."

Jacqueline Hewett is editor of Optics & Laser Europe magazine.

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