BRATTLEBORO -- Late Friday afternoon G.S Precision, Inc. announced that it had acquired Knappe & Koester, Inc., a Keene, N.H.-based precision manufacturing company.

Early Saturday morning G.S Precision CEO Norm Schneeberger was in his new office in the Keene facility helping move the acquisition forward.

"The rubber hit the road around 7 a.m. this morning," Schneeberger said when he was asked when the two companies would begin working together. "This is going to be good for both businesses. There are going to be opportunities for learning best practices from each other."

Knappe & Koester has about 100 employees and with the acquisition G.S. Precision grows into a company with more than 500 employees, many of which, Schneeberger says, have years of experience running high tech, precision, metal-cutting machinery.

Prior to this week G.S. Precision had acquired one other company, a small California firm with about 10 employees.

Following the merger with Knappe & Koester, G.S. Precision grows by about 25 percent.

"We looked all over the country for a company and we saw this merger as being very complementary to what we do," Schneeberger said. "For the most part we make different parts and we have a different customer base. It's exciting."

But Schneeberger said the two facilities have similar machines, and also employees that can share their expertise and experience.

Schneeberger says there are no plans for any layoffs between the two locations, pointing out instead that the most talented staff members at each location will work with machine operators at the other company, helping to add to the success of G.S. Precision.

Knappe & Koester was founded in 1972. The company specializes in the machining and assembly of complex components for the aerospace and defense industries.

G.S. Precision was started in 1958 and is a global leader in the manufacturing of components and assemblies for customers that produce aircraft and land-based turbine engines, commercial and military aircraft, missile guidance systems, infra-red optical systems and other mission critical devices.

Along with its Brattleboro headquarters the company has facilities in California and Mexico.

Between the two locations in Brattleboro and Keene, G.S Precision will now have more than 200,000 square feet of space and more than 220 precision computer numerically controlled machines, including 20 5-axis machining centers.

"I look forward to working with both the K&K and GSP teams as we begin the process of integrating our companies," Schneeberger said. "The merging of our companies will allow us to provide significantly increased capacity for our customers as well as more diverse manufacturing capabilities."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext. 279 or hwtisman@reformer.com.