Apple asks court to seal objections against GT Advanced bankruptcy
Apple on Tuesday entered a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire requesting to seal objections made in regard to partner sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies' Chapter 11 protection filing.
According to the motion, Apple is seeking to lodge arguments against GT's bankruptcy filing under seal in a bid to keep sensitive research and development details, as well as business dealings, out of the public eye, reports Re/code.
The court document builds on a previous report that revealed Apple's non-disclosure agreements include a $50 million penalty each time a supplier leaks information about unannounced products.
Today's filing is the latest news to come out of GT Advanced's unexpected downfall. The New Hampshire-based company struck a $578 million deal to provide Apple with raw sapphire material for a secret project. As part of the agreement, Apple purchased land in Mesa, Arizona and leased the property to GT, but the firm failed to meet production goals necessary for the full advance payout.
GT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, a surprise to many after the company showed no public signs of trouble. The announcement supposedly came as a surprise to Apple, as well, though later reports showed the Cupertino tech giant tried to assist GT in meeting requirements for a final $139 million payout.
Countering Apple's stance is the U.S. Trustee, the U.S. Department of Justice's bankruptcy watchdog, as well as the state of New Hampshire. Bloomberg reports the offices filed their own respective papers on Monday, each asking for a public account of what transpired behind GT's closed doors.
"Much of the business operations of the Debtors with assets valued by the debtors at $1.5 billion on October 6, 2014, are slated to be shuttered by what remains an unexplained business failure," the state wrote, adding, "The public interest in learning what transpired, where the debtors made such confident statements publicly very recently while clearly a catastrophic storm was on the horizon, is very high."
Of particular interest for government agencies are reports that two GT Advanced executives, CEO Tom Gutierrez and COO Daniel Squiller, sold off a combined $12 million in stock just before things went south.
Presiding U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff is scheduled to hear arguments regarding the matter on Wednesday.