GT Advanced Makes Apple Settlement Agreement Public
Yesterday, we reported that GT Advanced and Apple have parted ways, settling their dispute amicably and today, GT Advanced has officially announced in a press release that it has reached a settlement agreement with Apple. According to the settlement agreement, which is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court, GT will wind down its sapphire materials production in the company’s Mesa, AZ and Salem, MA locations.
“GT will be released from all exclusivity obligations under its various agreements with Apple. GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest, solely from a portion of the proceeds from ASF® sales. The agreement provides for a mutual release of any and all claims by both parties. As a result of the agreed upon terms, GT retains control of its intellectual property and will be able to sell its sapphire growth and fabrication technology, including ASF and Hyperion™, without restrictions.”
Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive office of GT Advanced said that they are pleased with the settlement. He also indicated that the company will exit from the market as a producer of sapphire materials and will refocus as an equipment supplier and on developing sapphire growth systems and processes.
Meanwhile, an Apple spokeswoman gave the following statement (via Re/Code):
“Apple put a lot of effort into an ambitious new sapphire manufacturing process with GTAT which is not ready for production. We’re going to continue evaluating GTAT’s progress on larger sapphire boule development, as well as consider other options for the facility. We remain committed to the city and we’re going to work with Mesa and Maricopa County to help the GT Advanced employees who will be impacted by this find new jobs.”
Well, so much for Apple’s multiyear sapphire manufacturing alliance with GT Advanced Technologies.