Apple and its former sapphire supplier, GT Advanced, have reached a deal to clear the the latter of the $439 million it owes the tech giant following its bankruptcy filing last year. Under the terms of the deal, reported by The Wall Street Journal GT Advanced will hold an auction on November 23 to sell off some of the equipment that was intended to be used in sapphire glass production:
While GT intends to hang on to some of the equipment—as many as 600 sapphire-making furnaces—it is prepared to auction what it can and abandon what it can't cart off, court papers say.
Anything not sold will be handed over to Apple, which has agreed to scrap the equipment and extinguish the loan it made to transform GT from an equipment manufacturer into a supplier of smartphone-screen material.
This follows a saga that has played out over the past year after GT Advanced declared chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company was originally selected to supply sapphire glass displays for Apple products, but failed to meet deadlines in an agreement that the company called "oppressive and burdensome" in court filings.
Apple has since detailed plans to repurpose the Mesa, Arizona facility that housed GT Advanced's operations as a data center.
The deal is pending approval by a bankruptcy court judge, and GT Advanced is hoping for a hearing on the matter next week.
Source: The Wall Street Journal