Technology

Apple Watch sapphire glass supplier files for bankruptcy

Andrew Sadauskas /

GT Advanced Technologies, the US company that supplies sapphire glass screens for the Apple Watch, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the equivalent of administration in Australia.

In an official statement, the company claims it had approximately $US85 million ($96.9 million) in cash and is seeking debtor-in-possession financing, which it says will fund “customary obligations associated with the daily operation of its business” such as payroll.

Despite the filing, chief executive Tom Gutierrez claims the company has a “strong and fundamentally sound underlying business”.

“Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet,” Gutierrez said.

In its June quarter results, GT Advanced Technologies stated it expects to receive an additional prepayment from Apple of $US139 million, subject to it meeting certain unspecified operational targets.

At the end of the quarter it reported $US333 million of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared to $US509 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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