TAUNTON optronics firm Thales has sold part of its business.

The Beryllium mirrors and structures business has been bought for an undisclosed sum by the American GSI Group.

The operation, which makes mirrors to steer lasers, becomes General Optics Taunton with 28 employees.

The Massachusetts-based company makes scanners for applications including reading bar codes at supermarket checkouts and opticians measuring for glaucoma.

General Optics business development manager Peter Nation said six former Thales workers had been employed.

GSI chief executive and president Dr Sergio Edelstein said the technologies of the two businesses are used in high-precision applications in the electronics, telecommunications and aerospace industries.

He added: "This acquisition is a great strategic fit that will support the growth of our precision technology segment.

"The team at Thales Taunton has collaborated with GSI's scanning team on a variety of projects for several years, and both groups know each other well."

Thales is relocating its Taunton operation to Glasgow - for the latest on the move, see Thursday's Somerset County Gazette.