GTAT buys Calif. firm with N.H. facility

Thermal Technology LLC has a facility in Concord

GT Advanced Technologies has taken another step toward diversification by acquiring Thermal Technology LLC, a California company with a facility in Concord, N.H.

The Nashua-based company bought Thermal Technology for 3.4 million shares of GTAT common stock and an “earn out.” At $4.31 a share, that would translate into a deal valued at least $14.65 million. GTAT said that acquiring the business would bring in about $9 million to $14 million for the rest of the year, but would not affect its earnings report.

GTAT, which went public in the summer of 2008 as GT Solar, has struggled the last two years, thanks to a glut in the solar market. Last quarter, the company lost $18.7 million and had to slash $356 million of its backlog.

But the company still boasts a solid backlog of $851 million, and had, at the end of March, some $320 million in cash and equivalents. It expects solar to encompass less than half of its business next year.

Thermal Technology, which is headquartered in Santa Rosa, Calif. and has an eastern location in Concord, makes a wide range of high-temperature thermal vacuum products that are used in smartphones and touchscreens — the very industry that GTAT is trying to break into.

GTAT said that Thermal Technology provides “key products and technologies” that will allow the company “to address new markets with a range of production equipment options.”

Thermal Technology is a descendent firm of Richard D. Brew and Co., founded in Concord in 1946. The company merged with California-based Astro Industries in 1985 to form Thermal Technology Inc., which changed its name to Thermal Technology LLC in 2007.

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