Apple and its former sapphire glass supplier GT Advanced Technologies have reached an agreement to settle the $439 million in debt GTA owes to Apple as a result of its failed sapphire glass operation in Mesa, Arizona.
The The Wall Street Journal says the terms of the settlements state GT Advanced will host an auction on November 23 to sell off the sapphire making equipment that it brought into the marriage. As in all fair divorce agreements, the auction proceeds will be split between the two parties. Any equipment that remains unsold will become the property of Apple. (No word as yet on who gets the summer home in the Hamptons. – Ed.)
The court papers indicate GTA intends to hang on to as many as 600 sapphire furnaces, but will auction off whatever it can, and will abandon what it can’t sell or transport. All unsold equipment will be handed over to Apple, which will scrap the equipment, and write off the loan it made to GTA as part of the deal for the company to be a supplier of sapphire glass for Apple’s devices.
Following the break-up of GT Advanced and Apple, GTA agreed to sell off its furnaces in order to repay the loan to Apple. So far, the company has been unable to find a buyer for the expensive equipment.
The two companies originally joined together to produce sapphire glass for use in displays for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets, but the marriage began to disintegrate when GT Advanced was unable to keep its vow to produce sapphire to meet Apple’s rigid standards.
GTA eventually filed for bankruptcy in October of 2014, resulting in the layoff of over 700 employees, and the closing of a plant in Mesa, Arizona. Apple has since taken ownership of the facility, and is repurposing it for use as a data center.