GT Advanced Technologies Inc. recently announced that, following the Bankruptcy Court’s recent approval of its settlement agreement with Apple, GT is now pursuing ASF® furnace opportunities for sapphire cover glass applications across the broader smartphone market, as well as ongoing opportunities in the LED and industrial markets. Under the settlement agreement, all previous exclusivity restrictions have been lifted and GT retains control of its intellectual property, as well as ownership of its production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa, Ariz. GT has been provided with a rent-free lease of the Mesa facility through the end of 2015 and a subsequent rent-free lease of a portion of the facility for storage through 2019, subject to early termination by Apple on six months prior notice, which can be issued no sooner than July 1, 2016. Apple has been provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT, whereby Apple will receive a portion of ASF sales for each furnace that GT sells.
“We are very pleased that the court has approved our settlement agreement with Apple, which we believe is in the best interest of all parties,” said Tom Gutierrez, GT’s chief executive officer and president. “We are focused on executing on our business plan, which includes marketing and selling our market-leading ASF sapphire growth technology. Based on the demonstrated field performance of the ASF, GT’s technology roadmap and our unmatched sapphire growth expertise, we are confident that GT’s ASF platform offers sapphire manufacturers the most cost competitive, scalable and versatile solution for sapphire growth for several applications, including consumer electronics. Since we have re-entered the market, interest in our sapphire technology has continued to grow.
“Since our chapter 11 filing, we have taken several important steps to significantly reduce our cash operating expenses and protect our cash position, which was $96.7 million as of December 19, while at the same time we have continued to invest in our market-leading technologies. We are making good progress in our efforts to secure debtor-in-possession financing, which we believe will provide GT with sufficient liquidity to continue to implement our business plan.”