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Apple sapphire partner GT Advanced seeks to 'wind down' plant operations

New details of Apple sapphire partner supplier GT Advanced revealed on Thursday, with one report saying the sapphire maker asked the court for permission to "wind down" operations at its manufacturing plant.



According to Re/code, GT asked a U.S. bankruptcy court judge to close the plant. Details on the motion are unavailable as the company asked to keep documents sealed to protect confidential contracts made with Apple.

Earlier this week, GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move Apple called "surprising." Last November, the Cupertino tech giant inked a $578 million deal with GT to build out a state-of-the-art sapphire production facility in Mesa, Ariz.

It was later learned that Apple paid four out of five advances, but withheld a final $139 million payment due in October for unknown reasons. Follow-up reports claim Apple tried to help GT meet contractual obligations that would qualify the firm to receive this final installment, which was due in October.

For its part, Apple said it remains dedicated to the jobs created in Arizona and is currently working with government officials to make sure those positions are not liquidated. It is not clear what the company intends to do if GT successfully closes the site.

Judge Henry Boroff has reportedly scheduled an Oct. 15 hearing to further examine the motion.