GTAT shares make market debut

Shares of GT Advanced Technologies Inc. began trading Monday under the ticker symbol GTAT, rendering GT Solar International and its SOLR ticker symbol to the scrap heap of corporate history. The move recognize how quickly the Merrimack-based company has expanded since its purchase last July of Crystal Systems Inc. of Salem, Mass, placing the firm firmly in the LED market.The total fair value of consideration of that purchase was $67.8 million, according to the latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s what the company spent, and that’s what the company mostly got — $42.2 million in good will and $24 million in intangible assets. (There were also the tangible assets of the company itself, nearly wiped out by the $11 million in tax liabilities that came with the deal.)But the deal was worth much more than that to GT, which had previously concentrated on selling furnaces to create solar cells and the material used to make them. Crystal Systems manufactured sapphire, the material used for LED lighting — the rapidly expanding technology for high-efficiency illumination.GT, however, turned its Salem plant into a showcase for furnaces that make sapphire, and that’s where the real money is to be made. GT only recorded $8 million in revenue from the sapphires themselves over the last quarter (out of $231 million). But it has booked nearly $1 billion in orders for its Advanced Sapphire Furnaces. That’s why GT is no longer just a solar company.GTAT shares traded at 10.63, down $1.15, at the close of Monday’s trading. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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