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© dr911 dreamstime.com Components | October 24, 2014

GT shuts down Mesa facility; settles with Apple

GT Advanced Technologies and Apple have reached a settlement agreement under which GT will wind down its sapphire materials production in the company's Mesa (USA) location.
The company indicated that it will exit from the market as a producer of sapphire materials and will refocus its business as an equipment supplier, manufacturing and developing sapphire growth systems and processes.

GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its USD 439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest.

As a result of the decision to wind down its sapphire materials operations, GT has initiated the process of shutting down the Mesa facility and approximately 650 Mesa employees have been laid off. A group of Mesa employees will remain on board to help with the wind down of the facility over the coming months. The company expects that there will be additional headcount reductions implemented in the coming days, which will impact its Salem, MA, Merrimack, NH and select Asia locations.

"We are pleased with the settlement that we have negotiated with Apple," said Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer. "We realize that our filing for Chapter 11 protection has caused uncertainty and hardship for many of our important stakeholders. We have been working diligently to develop a restructuring plan that will allow us to emerge from Chapter 11 as quickly as possible and with the operating flexibility and resources to position GT for long-term success. This agreement with Apple is an important step in that direction as it will allow us to monetize our advanced sapphire growth and fabrication technologies in an unrestricted manner."

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