Apple, GT Strike Deal to Unseal Info, Shutter Arizona Plant

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and GT Advanced Technologies Inc have struck an agreement to shutter a key Arizona factory and allow the Apple supplier to explain the circumstances leading up to its abrupt bankruptcy filing, a lawyer for GT told a court on Tuesday.

Scant details have emerged since GT Advanced, which was to have been a major supplier of scratch-resistant sapphire to Apple, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 6, triggering speculation as to what may have soured its relationship with the iPhone maker and torpedoed its prospects.

GT Advanced has cited strict confidentiality requirements in Apple contracts that carry fines of $50 million if violated. On Tuesday, its lawyers told a bankruptcy hearing they had reached an agreement with Apple that would allow them to disclose most information pertinent to its bankruptcy.

Under that deal, the two companies had agreed to part ways, and GT Advanced can start shuttering a plant in Mesa, Arizona that Apple had helped finance in return for exclusive supply of sapphire. Apple will get an undisclosed portion of the proceeds from sales of furnaces in that plant, the lawyers said.

(Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Chris Reese)