Apple Works Out Deal to Auction Sapphire-Making Equipment
By selling the sapphire machines, now-bankrupt supplier GT Advanced Technologies will then try to repay a $439 million loan from Apple.Apple has come to an agreement with bankrupt sapphire glass supplier GT Advanced Technologies to auction off sapphire-making machines that Apple had loaned the company $439 million to purchase in 2014. By auctioning the sapphire-making equipment, GT Advanced, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2014, will then be able to pay back as much of the money as possible, according to a Nov. 3 story by The Wall Street Journal. GT Advanced's sapphire displays were rumored for months to have been included in the new iPhone 6 models that Apple launched in September 2014, but the super-strong display material was not ready for inclusion in the phones. GT Advanced, which is based in Merrimack, N.H., had filed for Chapter 11 so that it could continue to operate and work toward a reorganization plan to rebuild its business, according to a statement by the company. "The settlement provides for an auction by Nov. 23 of equipment that GT provided in the effort, the proceeds of which will be divided, GT said in papers filed on Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Hampshire," the Journal reported. "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."
Remaining equipment that is not sold will be scrapped by Apple to help repay the loan, the story reported.