GT Advanced Technologies files for bankruptcy

Chapter 11 filing not a sign ‘we are going out of business,’ says CEO

GT Advanced Technologies, in the midst of completing a $500 million deal with Apple, stunned investors Monday morning by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

It is the largest bankruptcy filing in New Hampshire in recent history.

The Merrimack-based company stressed that it expects the bankruptcy court will “authorize the company to continue to conduct business as usual” while it tries to resolve “current issues.”

“GT has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business,” said Tom Gutierrez, president and CEO of GTAT. “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.

“We are convinced that the rehabilitative process of chapter 11 is the best way to reorganize, protect our company and provide a path to our future success.”

Trading was halted on the Nasdaq exchange shortly after the announcement, with shares falling from $11.05 a share to $1.26.

The company said it had $85 million in cash as of Sept. 29. While that may sound a lot, it’s considerably less than the $333 million it had at the end of June.

The company’s filing does not reveal many details, just that it has more than 5,000 creditors and more than $1 billion in assets and debts.

The company, which had experienced some disappointing news during the past year, forged a deal with Apple to make sapphire materials for the computer giant’s devices. However, when Apple unveiled its new iPhone, it did not include a sapphire screen, though the new Apple Watch will use sapphire.

GTAT had scheduled an investment call to update investors about other aspects of its business last week, but that call was delayed until this week. Instead, the company announced the bankruptcy filing.

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