GS Optics growth planned after acquisition

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GS Optics plans to expand its footprint in downtown Rochester. The polymer optics business was recently acquired by Gooch & Housego PLC, a precision optics and photonics provider based in the United Kingdom, in a deal valued at up to $15.7 million cash and stock.

G&H expects to create a North American Life Sciences Center of Excellence with the acquisition, positioning the local company as an innovation hub for research, development and manufacturing of optics and photonics in the life sciences arena.

GS Optics will now operate as G&H | GS Optics. The company employs more than 60 people at its facility on St. Paul Street. Officials say all jobs are expected to be retained. The downtown campus will expand by 25 percent to accommodate future growth.

“This strategic investment aligns with our long-term growth strategy to become an innovative customer-focused technology company,” says Charlie Peppiatt, CEO of G&H. “Together, we will unlock new possibilities and create a North American Center of Excellence that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in optics and photonics.”

Both companies boast an established presence in the optics and photonics industry. GS Optics traces its roots to Germanow-Simon Corp., founded in 1916. It custom designs and manufactures precision polymer optics for use in the biomedical, machine vision and analytical instrument markets, as well as military and civilian night-vision and visible-range sighting applications. In 2022, GS Optics logged $10 million in revenue. 

G&H is marking its 75th year. The optical components and systems manufacturer reported roughly $90 million in revenues the first half of its financial year, up nearly 32 percent. 

“With GS Optics joining the G&H family, we are going to expand the solutions we can offer to our customers,” says Stratos Kehayas, G&H chief commercial officer. “The design trade space for all our engineers is going to be greatly expanded with the addition of GS’s polymer materials and their long optics heritage.”

GS Optics’ strengths lie in the manufacturing of polymer optics, particularly for life sciences applications including medical microscopy and diagnostic imaging, and laser surgery. 

G&H’s global reach is expected to assist in further cementing that role. For G&H, the acquisition extends its capabilities in polymer optics.

G&H | GS Optics will continue to serve its customers in aerospace and defense, industrial and medical devices, augmented reality/virtual reality and other commercial applications, the company says. Now, clients have the option of choosing the material and fabrication—glass, polymer or a hybrid.

“Joining forces with G&H is a tremendous opportunity for us,” says Andy Germanow,

CEO of GS Optics. “We have always strived to deliver the highest-quality optics to our customers, and this acquisition opens new opportunities for us. As part of G&H, we will leverage their extensive resources, expertise, and global presence to accelerate our growth and continue providing innovative solutions to our customers.”

Rochester’s access to highly skilled talent, an experienced workforce and proximity to more than 150 optics, imaging and photonics companies made it an attractive proposition for G&H, officials say.

“GS Optics is a company with a long heritage of optics manufacturing here in Rochester,” notes Rochester Chamber president and CEO Bob Duffy. “Third-generation CEO Andy Germanow has fearlessly led this company forward in cutting-edge fields for many years, and is now leading the way into this exciting new venture with G&H.”

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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