GT Solar inks its single largest deal

GT Solar International Inc. has received an order for its advanced sapphire crystallization furnaces totaling $460.4 million — the Merrimack-based company’s largest single order ever.The deal with an undisclosed Chinese firm is with the company’s new LED business, which it acquired last July when it bought Crystal Systems for $80 million. The company announced the order on June 3.The Chinese firm wants the furnaces to produce sapphires that are needed to make wafers used in manufacturing LEDs.GT Solar has been announcing hundred-million dollar furnaces deals ever since the company went public in the summer of 2008, though with increasing frequency in the recent past. But those furnaces produced the material to make solar cells. Indeed, the company announced it previous largest deal – for $218 million – on May 18. But those deals pale in comparison to the latest sapphire announcement, which almost equals the company’s revenue for all of 2010.”The market acceptance of our sapphire growth technology has been remarkable,” said Tom Gutierrez, GT Solar’s president and CEO. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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