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  • GT Advanced Technologies and Apple Settle Over Previous Sapphire Production Agreement

    Apple and GT Advanced Technologies recently reached an agreement to effectively dissolve their partnership, allowing GTAT to shut down operations at the Apple-owned sapphire production plant in Mesa, Arizona. Under the deal, GTAT will seek to sell off the over 2,000 sapphire furnaces which are currently installed at the facility. The majority of the money earned from the sales will go towards repaying Apple $439 million in loans that Apple made to help the operation move along.

    As of today, GTAT officially announced the deal and published the full agreement, redacting the amount that Apple will be paid per furnace sold. Although the two companies are ending their production agreement, they will still keep in touch as GTAT continues to research work focused on producing larger sapphire boules of over 165 kilograms. This will result in quarterly meetings to discuss progress made in that field with potential collaboration if both sides agree to move ahead.

    For those of you who didn’t know, GTAT filed for bankruptcy earlier this month as it became clear that the company wasn’t able to produce sapphire of the quality that Apple required. This all started surfacing back in February when the company had trouble meeting the requirements to qualify for Apple’s loan payments. Apple’s continued withholding of the final $139 million payment is what ultimately resulted in GTAT pulling the plug on the whole operation despite Apple’s numerous attempts to help GTAT overcome the technical issues.

    After all that has been said and done, GTAT is currently looking to wind down its sapphire production operation by the end of the year, wrapping up sapphire boule production currently underway and decommissioning the furnaces in order to sell them. The whole situation has resulted in 650 employee layoffs at the Arizona plant and the company will be continuing to lay off additional employees across its location as it closes out its production partnership with Apple.

    Source: GT Advanced Technologies (Investor), GlobeNewsWire via MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: GT Advanced Technologies and Apple Settle Over Previous Sapphire Production Agreement started by Akshay Masand View original post