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Apple, former client to settle $439M debt: Report

A New Hampshire technology company has reached a deal with Apple to resolve more than $400 million in debt it accumulated attempting to become an iPhone supplier, The Wall Street Journal reported.

GT Advanced Technologies plans to auction equipment it hoped to use to make sapphire for Apple phone screens, and the companies will split the proceeds, the report said, citing court documents filed this week. Apple will drop its $439 million loan to GT and take control of any sapphire-making furnaces that do not sell.

Apple Inc. iPhone 6s Plus smartphones are displayed after a product announcement in San Francisco, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Apple Inc. iPhone 6s Plus smartphones are displayed after a product announcement in San Francisco, California.

GT's relationship with Apple — originally announced in late 2013 — boosted hopes for GT, a maker of optical, laser and solar equipment. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2014.

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The supplier relationship never came to fruition — GT has alleged Apple changed specifications, while Apple claimed the company did not meet performance standards, according to the Journal.

The new plan needs approval from a bankruptcy judge.

Apple and GT did not immediately respond to requests to comment.