You are reading the article Gibson Files For Bankruptcy: Guitars In Question updated in December 2023 on the website Achiashop.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested January 2024 Gibson Files For Bankruptcy: Guitars In Question
Gibson files for bankruptcy: Guitars in question
It would seem that the brand Gibson has overstepped its ability to command the entire world of electronics. After a whole bunch of acquisitions, Gibson Brands just filed for bankruptcy. The brand’s most recent public statement on the matter suggests they’ll be trying to keep their bankruptcy transition invisible to the everyday customer. But when it comes to a case this massive, you can’t really tell until it’s all in motion. That goes for the guitars as well as the rest of Gibson Brands many subsidiaries. Especially the parts they bought recently and can’t sustain.
Gibson suggested they’d be winding down their Gibson’s Innovations business and would continue to operate during the proposed bankruptcy. This comes after Gibson took on some debt a few years ago and acquired several lesser brands in audio equipment and home entertainment. Brands acquired by Gibson over the past couple of years include: Onkyo stereos, TEAC, and Royal Phillip’s home entertainment systems.
This case was filed at Delaware Bankruptcy Court (debke) on the first of May, 2023. The case was announced to be handled by Judge Christopher S. Sontchi. Also on the list for recently filed chapter 11s in the same court are:
Gibson brands filing for bankruptcy:
• Gibson Europe B.V.
• Wurlitzer Corp *
• Neat Audio Acquisition Corp. *
• Gibson Pro Audio Corp.
• Gibson Innovations USA, Inc.
• Gibson International Sales LLC
• Consolidated Musical Instruments, LLC *
• Gibson Cafe & Gallery, LLC
• Cakewalk, Inc. * (recently acquired by BandLab from Gibson)
• Gibson Holdings, Inc.
• Baldwin Piano, Inc. *
• Gibson Brands, Inc.
* Owned in part or in whole by Gibson Brands, Inc.
There’s a restructuring support agreement in place with senior secured noteholders of Gibson Brands, Inc. to help repay bank loans. It’s estimated by the bankruptcy petition that the brand has up to $500 million in debt. A PDF of the filing can be found at Reorg-Research (PDF). Estimated number of creditors in this case is between 1,000-5,000, and estimated assets ring in at between $100,000,001 and $500-million. Estimated liabilities are marked between $100,000,001 and $500-million USD.
UPDATE: Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz released a statement this morning on the matter. “Over the past 12 months, we have made substantial strides through an operational restructuring. We have sold non-core brands, increased earnings, and reduced working capital demands.
“The decision to re-focus on our core business, Musical Instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health,” said Juszkiewicz. “Importantly, this process will be virtually invisible to customers, all of whom can continue to rely on Gibson to provide unparalleled products and customer service.”
We’ll see. Cross your fingers for one of two outcomes: invisible stability or a whole lot of fire sales! Below you’ll see a rather nice run-down of what happened to Gibson over the past several years. This video was first released on February 21st, 2023 – so it’s not entirely up to date. But it’s close!
You're reading Gibson Files For Bankruptcy: Guitars In Question
GT bankruptcy puts Apple in control of Sapphire
GT Advanced is Apple’s partner in their yet-to-be-opened Sapphire Glass facility in Arizona. The facility is near completion, and with a possible ocean of Sapphire Glass flowing from the desert soon, GT Advanced filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. In examining the circumstances surrounding that filing, it seems Apple could be poised to own the facility themselves.
In filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday, GT Advanced CEO Thomas Gutierrez said “Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet.” He went on to add filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, which protects them from debt collection during a reorganization process, was the right thing for GT to do in paving a “path to future success”.
Gutierrez is now under the crosshairs for selling stock. One day before Apple announced their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which didn’t (and don’t) have Sapphire Glass, Gutierrez sold 9,000 shares of GT Advanced stock. After Apple’s announcement, GT shares fell 13%.
The bankruptcy announcement sent shares tumbling 93%. GT Advanced shares now sit right around $0.80.
Now, back to that Arizona facility.
The facility is owned by Apple, with the understanding it will be operated by GT Advanced. Apple funded GT’s purchase of equipment for producing Sapphire Glass through a $578 million loan.
The terms of that loan stipulate that GT must pay back the loan over the course of five years. If they fail to pay the loan in full, Apple is entitled to take full ownership of the equipment in the facility, leaving them producing Sapphire Glass independently.
When they made the deal with Apple, GT said the Sapphire Glass production would give enough cash to be solvent, and profitable. Being the only company producing Glass for the most sought after mobile devices on earth would yield less margin, but provide steady income.
That tenuous agreement has one tidy little loophole for Apple. Though they’ve loaned money to GT for the equipment, Apple is under no obligation to actually buy anything from them. While the facility is clearly meant to produce Sapphire Glass for Apple products, Apple can source added displays from whomever they like.
Apple can freeze GT out, purchase nothing from them, and take ownership of the equipment housed in the facility they own. Apple could also bring in another company to run the operation. They control the Sapphire Glass patents relating to design and production, so it’s not as if they’d have to license the technology from anyone.
It’s worth noting that just ahead of the bankruptcy filing, Apple CEO Tim Cook said via Twitter he was hiking in Grand Canyon National Park. Cupertino is a long way from Arizona, and an interesting place to hike the day before your display tech partner files for bankruptcy.
It’s not far from that Sapphire Glass facility, though.
WordPress allows you to create different types of websites. However it is basically a blogging platform and does not offer a solid foundation for community based question & answers website. You really need to depend on third-party developers for moving beyond blogging. There are some prebuilt themes and plugins to start your question and answer sites. However, you should be very careful in understanding the way it works before purchasing. In this review, we will share the Discy theme feature and why you should be away from this theme.Discy WordPress Question and Answer Theme
Ask Me is one of the popular WordPress Q&A themes from the developer 2code Themes. Discy is a modified Ask Me theme with more focus on Q&A platform. You can purchase Discy theme from themeforest which is part of envato marketplace.
The theme will cost you $59 with 6 months of support. Additional support for 12 months will cost you $17.63.
Developer updates the theme regularly.
You can easily migrate from the Ask Me theme to Discy.
Responsive on mobile devices.
Discy Questions and Answers Theme Demo
Related: Disputo bbPress WordPress Theme ReviewFeatures of the Theme
Discy theme comes with packed features required for creating questions. It is basically a replication of the popular Stack Overflow question and answer forum site. Though Stack Overflow is not on WordPress platform, Discy theme tries to integrate all the features in WordPress using the WPQA plugin.Installing and Activating Theme
Similar to any other WordPress theme, you can upload the zip file from dashboard and activate Discy theme. Once you start installing, you will find real issues with the theme surfacing.
Important: The theme needs MAX_INPUT_VARS value as 3000. If you have lower values, you will not be able to save the settings in dashboard. Some shared hosting companies will not allow to increase the PHP input variables from the default value of 1000. Therefore confirm with your host before buying this theme whether you can modify chúng tôi file to increase the value.Configuring Discy Theme
After installing the theme, it will create a new menu item “Discy” where you can configure the theme settings. You can setup each section of the site like questions, payment, CAPTCHA, blog, header, etc., under corresponding sections. Here are some of the options available under “Questions” section.
Change the layout to simple
Options for categories, tags and RSS filters
Reporting inappropriate questions
Author profile pop-up
Also, the author has poor English translation of the settings page which you may feel difficult to understand.User Management
Discy theme has built-in user management system that shows each user’s profile with picture, cover image and social profiles. In addition, you can allow badges and points to rank users into different groups.
Discy Theme User SettingsRegistration Process
Unfortunately theme has buggy registration process by automatically logging the user and locking the content from viewing.
After registration, theme will automatically login the user even though email activation is required. Let’s say, if the user does not activate, without his consent his profile with email id will be shown to public.
Registration will not only lead to automatic login, it also block the entire site from viewing. This is a ridiculous way of designing the registration process. Now that, user needs to open the email and activate or logout to view the content.
There is a possibility to assign “Activation” role to new users. The purpose is that admin needs to manually approve the users before the role is changed to “Subscriber” for posting questions. However, after registration the theme will still show wrong message like activation required and confuse the users. The correct message should be like waiting for admin approval or something like that. Now, the user has no idea that admin needs to approve and he will keep on trying like a fool due to the false message.
Wrong Activation MessageWPQA Plugin
Before configuring the theme, you need to install WPQA – WordPress Questions and Answer plugin that comes prepackaged with the theme. In addition, you can install the recommended Contact Form 7 plugin for adding contact forms on your site.
WPQA plugin will add custom post types “Questions” and “Messages” on your site. You can create questions and view the discussion messages from the dashboard (however, it should be done from site’s frontend).
Answers are Comments
WPQA is a single plugin that handles questions on the site. In such a case, it should be offered as a plugin and not as a theme. The plugin is packaged with the theme hence it will not work with other themes. Combining the plugin function with theme will make you lock out with this theme forever. You will not be able to change the theme and also you need to get author’s support whenever you have problem in installing other plugins.
Learn WordPress: Check out 500+ free WordPress tutorials.Creating Questions
Discy Questions Page Editor
Users can create questions and reply answers on the front end like a forum website with classic editor.Premium Questions
You can earn money by allowing premium questions on your site. Discy theme allows you to customize the following premium settings:
Add PayPal to collect money from users. Remember, you should have PayPal business account to add PayPal Identity Token for the payment process to work.
Offer coupon codes.
Pay for stick questions.
Buying points and pay to ask questions.
Discy Theme Payment SettingsWidgets
SEO Offer: Optimize your site with Semrush Pro special 14 days free trial.Support
Unfortunately the author offers poor way of supporting with insufficient documentation and poor English.Issues with Theme and Author
We got lots of problem with PHP, Max Input Vars along with the registration issues mentioned above. We have reported these issues to the author, however he does not understand the issues leading us to go for refund. He also rejected our refund and we need to move on to envato/PayPal dispute to block the payment.Summary Pros
Stack Overflow type Q&A on WordPress (however, it’s definitely not comparable)Cons
Grad school interviews are the last step of the application process, so congratulations for making it to this stage! Getting this far is a big accomplishment—graduate schools only conduct interviews with those applicants they are seriously considering accepting.
Grad schools conduct interviews to assess your “fit” with their program and faculty, as well as your interpersonal skills. In many cases, they may also be attempting to match you with a supervisor.
Before the interview, you should prepare by doing your research and reflecting on how you’ll answer these common questions.How to prepare for your interview
First, read the website of the program you’re interviewing for. They’ll usually have information on job placement, curriculum, and expectations of graduate students.
If possible, talk to previous students about their experiences interviewing. Although no two interview experiences are exactly alike, they may be able to provide you with valuable tips for preparing.
You should prepare answers for certain, very common questions. You don’t need to memorize your answers—you don’t want to sound scripted, but you should have a sense of what you’ll say.
Don’t be afraid to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts before answering a question. Remember, the substance and quality of your answer are far more important than the quantity of words.Tips for specific programs
If you’re interviewing for a research program, you should try to read as many research papers in your field of interest as possible. Reading others’ research helps you generate ideas of your own. You’ll also be more prepared to answer questions about the topics you’re interested in researching, which could come up during your interview.
Research programs may ask you about a current topic in your field and what methods you would use for tackling it. Make sure you know some of the current open questions in your field and think about how you would answer them, including dealing with any obstacles that might come up. One potential tip is to talk to older students or professors that you know about these questions.
Focus on the CVs or biographies of professors that you’re particularly interested in working with. Read any research they’ve authored and jot down questions that come to mind when reading. Try to come up with a good argument for why they would be a good fit to supervise or work with you.
Business schools are also interested in your interpersonal skills, so your interview performance is an essential part of the application process.
Business school interviews will focus particularly on your career—both your past work experiences and your future goals. Go through your resume and prepare stories that illustrate the challenges and successes you had at each major work experience. Focus especially on any experiences you’ve had managing others, since an MBA is ultimately a management program. Identify the unique contributions that you’ll bring to the school.
In addition to your professional background, don’t be afraid to bring in experiences from beyond work and the classroom, such as from volunteering or extracurricular activities you participated in undergrad or afterwards.
Medical schools are looking for more than just academic ability—they want to find candidates well-suited to the unique demands of medicine. As such, they look for integrity, empathy, reliability, ability to interact with the general public, and motivation for a career in medicine. Ensure you have your answer to why you want to be a doctor down pat.
Medical school interviews sometimes ask about “ethics questions” that are designed to assess your thoughts about ethical dilemmas that you may face as a physician. To prepare, think about a general ethical framework that you can apply to any ethical question. What are some ethical considerations that you, as a physician, will have to keep in mind when treating patients? How important is a patient’s autonomy? Should equity or efficiency matter more?
Law schools might ask about your opinions on current events, especially those with a legal angle. You may also be asked about your future career plans.
Many people apply to law school because they see it as a natural next step, without really knowing if they actually want to practice law. Interviewers know this and will be on the outlook for such an attitude. Make sure you have thoroughly researched the career and know why you want to pursue this path. Ask current lawyers you know about what they actually do in their daily work life and the best and worst parts of their jobs.Questions about your background
Interviewers want to know how your previous experiences will serve you in this program and ensure you have the relevant skills and knowledge to succeed.What will you bring to this program/why should we admit you?
This is one of the most important questions you’ll be asked to answer. Focus on the skills and background that you will uniquely bring to the program. Be prepared with specific anecdotes that demonstrate your abilities.
You should also tailor your answer to the type of program you’re applying to:
If you’re applying for a research-based master’s or doctoral program, you will want to focus particularly on your academic and research background.
If you’re applying to medical school, your academic background is important, but so is your personal motivation.
Business schools will want to hear about how your professional experience has prepared you to manage others in a rapidly changing and increasingly global business climate.Tell us about the research you’ve completed or contributed to
Because future potential as a researcher is difficult for graduate programs to assess, they will be particularly interested in the background that you already have. Oftentimes resumes do not make it clear what exactly someone did as a research assistant, so you should be prepared to discuss your work and what you learned.
Example answer: Political Science PhD interview
As part of Dr. Jane Smith’s class on religion in politics, we were required to complete an independent research project, so I looked at the influence of right-wing authoritarianism in anti-Semitism. To measure anti-Semitism, I used an implicit bias test, which has been shown to measure racial or gender bias in other studies. I found that tendencies towards right-wing authoritarianism were associated with worse performance on the anti-Semitic test. The project was my first introduction to performing independent research, writing literature reviews, and performing statistical analysis using the coding language R.
I’ve also assisted Dr. Hannah Wilson on her research on the impact of globalization and job losses on voting patterns in the United States. I wrote literature reviews and aided in data analysis using R. I was a co-author on her latest paper, which used the recent tariffs on steel as an instrumental variable to demonstrate that increased globalization led to a higher increase in votes for political populist parties, since the choice of instrumental variable was originally my idea. The paper has been accepted to a top journal of political science. I am currently completing an independent senior thesis expanding our methodology to the United Kingdom and France, for which I have received a competitive research grant from my university.
I believe that I have demonstrated strong research skills through my work with Dr. Wilson, in addition to my strong academic performance. It is very rare for undergraduates to co-author with professors at my university, let alone write a paper accepted by a top journal.Specific questions about classes you took or skills you have
This depends on the program you’re applying to. Medical programs may ask about weak grades that you’ve received in science or math subjects or about your personal experiences shadowing doctors.
Business schools might want you to discuss any management experience you’ve had—particularly experiences where you overcame obstacles or a difficult interpersonal interaction.Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Try for freeQuestions about your interests and motivations
You’ll be asked questions designed to assess your knowledge of the program and how well it fits with your academic or professional interests.What interests you about this program?
This is probably the most common question that you’ll be asked, so you should be sure you have your answer down pat.
Stay away from answers like “because you’re a good program” or “I want to attend a prestigious school.” While prestige matters, graduate programs want to hear more about why you think you’re a good fit for their particular program.
If the program has a particular speciality that interests you—say a medical school that’s particularly well known for their research on Alzheimer’s or a business school whose marketing program is top notch—be sure to bring it up. This will demonstrate to the interviewers that you have a genuine interest in their program.
Mention any professors you are especially interested in working with or any resources that the school may have special access to. Perhaps they run an internship program in an area you’re interested in or have strong connections in a particular industry.
Example answer: Business school interview
My experience working in marketing at X Marketing Agency has shown me that my future career path lies in this field. Your program is arguably the best in the world for marketing, so you are my top choice of business school.
I am particularly interested in taking classes under Dr. Jennifer Adams—I’m greatly interested in her work showing that many companies use marketing to demonstrate a personal lifestyle brand that customers want to align with. I would also love to participate in the semester-long San Francisco internship program that you have, which I think would allow me to explore my interests in marketing in the technology industry.What topics are you interested in researching?
Graduate schools know that what you’ll end up researching is not yet set in stone, particularly if you are applying to a doctoral program. However, they like to see that you have some idea of what you would like to do, mostly as a way of demonstrating your seriousness in pursuing research and knowledge of the field.
You should therefore come up with a few topics, preferably ones that are strengths of the school’s faculty, to discuss during an interview.Who would you like to work with in our program? Questions about your post-graduation plans
Interviewers may also ask about how this program fits into your longer-term goals.What career are you interested in pursuing after graduation?
Be honest but realistic in your answer to this question. Importantly, you should not indicate your interest in a career that doesn’t fit with the program—if you don’t want to be a lawyer, don’t mention that in an interview with a law school!
Example answer: Law school
Ideally, I’d like to start off by gaining experience in a law firm, then move to a company where I can work as an in-house lawyer. I’m not entirely sure which branch of law I’d like to pursue yet, but I’m planning on taking classes in bankruptcy and corporate law to see if they interest me.
If you’re applying to a doctoral program, you will most likely be expected to continue in a career in academia, although this may vary based on the program. If you don’t have a perfect idea of what you want to do, don’t panic—that is part of what the program is intended to do! Just answer with your current thoughts.
Example answer: Economics PhD interview
I’m interested in becoming a researcher in applied microeconomics, hopefully as a tenured professor at a research university. I am particularly interested in applying the methodology of behavioral and experimental economics and the rigor of econometrics to issues like the political economy of housing policies and voting.What to ask your interviewers
Interviews are a two way street. Interviews will almost always ask if you have questions for them—make sure you have some good ones! Here are some examples of things you can ask about:
Funding opportunities: do they have funding available for research or projects you might want to carry out? How accessible is it?
Other access to resources: if you need computing resources for your projects, will you have access to them? Do they have a library of books or academic articles that will be available for you as a student?
Placement record (if not available online): How do students normally place after completing this program? What sort of jobs do they take? How long do they require to find a full-time job? Do they normally go on to tenure-track positions or something else?What not to discuss
Stay away from any questions that can be easily answered from looking at the program website. Admissions officers want to know that you’ve done at least a little bit of research on the program!
Although personal considerations (such as what it’s like to date or live in the city where the school is located) are vitally important to the choice of a graduate program, you should generally ask these questions only of current and former students, not faculty or admissions officers. Try to keep your questions on the theme of academic or professional experiences.
There are also some questions that interviewers should not ask you. Although it rarely occurs, be aware that you don’t have to answer questions that are inappropriate, or possibly even illegal, including anything that relates to your marital status or pregnancy, age, disability status, race, or gender. If asked a question that falls into this category, you should inform the interviewer that you’re not comfortable answering and report the incident to an admissions officer afterwards.Other interesting articles
If you want to know more about college essays, academic writing, and AI tools, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.Frequently asked questions about grad school interviews
What are the most common graduate school interview questions?
Graduate schools often ask questions about why you are interested in this particular program and what you will contribute.
Try to stay away from cliche answers like “this is a good program” or “I got good grades in undergrad” and focus instead on the unique strengths of the program or what you will bring to the table. Understand what the program is looking for and come up with anecdotes that demonstrate why you are a good fit for them.
Different types of programs may also focus on different questions:
Research programs will often ask what topics you’d like to research and who you would like to work with, as well as specific questions about your research background.
Medical schools are interested in your personal motivation, qualities such as integrity and empathy, and how you’d respond to common ethical dilemmas.
Business schools will focus on your past work experience and future career prospects, and may be particularly interested in any experience you have managing or working with others.
How do I properly prepare for a graduate school interview?
Look back through your resume and come up with anecdotes that you could use for common questions, particularly those that ask about obstacles that you overcame. If you’re applying for a research program, ensure that you can talk about the previous research experience you’ve had.
You should also read as much research in your field as possible. Research the faculty at the schools you’re applying to and read some of their papers. Come up with a few questions that you could ask them.
Which types of graduate programs require interviews?
Most medical school programs interview candidates, as do many (though not all) leading law and business schools.
In research programs, it depends—PhDs in business usually do, while those in economics normally do not, for example.
Some schools interview everyone, while others only interview their top candidates. Look at the websites of the schools you’re applying to for more information on whether they conduct interviews.Cite this Scribbr article
Thomas, L. (2023, June 01). Grad School Interview Question & How to Answer Them. Scribbr. Retrieved July 17, 2023,
Cite this article
The move from JPG might seem like a strange one, but it has significant benefits. File sizes are typically much smaller without sacrificing quality, while multiple photos (from a burst sequence of something similar) can be stored in a single file.
Android has stuck with JPG, but you can save in HEIC if you’d prefer. If you’re looking for ways to free up storage space, it’s worth considering.
The Photos app on Windows 11 is compatible with HEIC (and HEIF) files, but it’s not always as straightforward on Windows 10. While technically supported, there are a few steps you may need to take before opening or saving them. Here’s everything you need to know.How to open HEIC files in Windows 10
Next, you need to install the support utility, available on the Microsoft Store as HEIF Image Extensions. This should be free, but it may already be installed on your device.
See more on opening H.265 videos in our separate guide on how to install HEVC codecs on Windows.How to convert HEIC to JPG
That method is fine if you want to convert the occasional photo, but there are far easier ways of batch converting a lot of photos to JPG
There are quite a few free apps including
If you want more control, such as the level of JPG compression, file renaming and more, HEIC to JPG – The HEIC Image Converter is a great free option.
Below is iMazing Converter, a small app that lets you drag and drop files and choose whether to convert them to JPG or PNG, as well as the output folder.
Apple users can easily convert an HEIC file to JPEG on a Mac.How to make your iPhone transfer photos as JPG instead of HEIC
If you don’t want to convert files in Windows, then there are various way to share those photos so they get converted to JPG automatically. To share photos, open the Photos app, tap Select at the top, pick the ones you want and then tap the share icon (bottom left) and choose an app or method to share them.
You could send them via email or upload to a cloud storage service. It’s a bad idea to share via WhatsApp or other social media, as the photos are invariably reduced in quality.
When you choose to share via Mail you’ll get to pick which size – always go for the original (maximum) file size if you want to retain the best quality.
And if you choose a cloud provider such as Google Drive, you should see that the files will be saved with a .jpeg extension.
Anyron Copeman / FoundryHow to stop your iPhone saving photos in HEIC
Open the Settings app and scroll down until you see Camera. Tap it and then tap Formats (which is right at the top).
You’ll see this screen, and you need to change it from High Efficiency to Most Compatible:
Anyron Copeman / Foundry
It’s a similar story for videos, with H.265 files requiring a codec in order to open in certain apps. Learn more in our guide on how to install HEVC codecs on Windows.What is a HEIC file?
If you copy photos from a recent iPhone or iPad to a PC or laptop, you may see a lot of strange HEIC files:
The format was developed by MPEG – not Apple – so it’s not Apple trying to do its own proprietary thing. In fact, HEIC is slowly usurping the established (but old and flawed) JPG format.
Images with a .heic are compressed using HEVC, which is the high-efficiency video codec. These images are then stored in a HEIF file, which stands for High Efficiency File Format
There are lots of benefits of using HEIF files, even if it is a bit confusing that the file is called HEIC rather than HEIF.
Here’s why HEIC files are great:
Around half the size of JPG for the same quality
Can store multiple photos in one file (ideal for Live Photos and bursts)
Supports transparency like GIF files
Can store image edits, such as cropping and rotating so you can undo them
Support 16-bit colour vs JPG’s 8-bit
You may also be interested in our guides to taking great photos underwater or at Christmas using an iPhone.
Company spokesman Chris Gaither said in a written statement to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and other major outlets that “we are focussed on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT’s surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps”.
After purchasing a 1.4-million-square-foot facility in Arizona from a solar-panel producer for $113 million last year, Apple basically leased the site to GT Advanced. The idea was that Apple would own the plant and the equipment while GT would focus on component production.
But up until that point, GT was only known as a leading maker of sophisticated furnaces used to grow synthetic sapphire. According to the terms of the multi-year agreement, Apple would prepay $578 million — contingent on meeting certain technical requirements — for the cutting-edge equipment.
GT agreed to start repaying Apple beginning 2023. Crazypants analysts expected GT’s 2014 revenue to grow fifteen fold on the heels of the Apple deal alone.
The problem is, GT as a equipment manufacturer has never dealt with Apple in the past and it admittedly had no experience whatsoever running a large-scale mass production that can match Apple’s insane needs.
Unfortunately, the huge gamble has failed to pay off.
Suffering low yields and ongoing manufacturing woes, GT was unable to ramp up production of sapphire, prompting Apple to reportedly withhold the last $139 million payment, enough to push GT into financial distress.
As a result of these miscalculations and the fact that Apple unveiled new iPhones with heavy-duty Gorilla Glass glass screens, rather than sapphire, GT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, a move designed to allow the firm to continue normal operations and meet its obligations until it reorganizes its business and negotiate new financing arrangements with its creditors.
“Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet,” GT Advanced Chief Executive Tom Gutierrez said in a news release.
Waisuke Wakabayashi of The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple opted against using the precious gemstone, whose hardness is second only to diamond, after the material “proved brittle” and cracked in testing.
As of September 29, GT had about $85 million in cash.
Shares of GT nosedived 90 percent on the news.
The bankruptcy filing should’t disrupt Apple’s supply chain as the California firm has been sourcing scratch-resistant sapphire material for the Touch ID sensor and the iSight camera lens from other suppliers.
And even though two of the three distinct editions of the Apple Watch, due in early 2023, do feature a sapphire coating to protect their Retina screen, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says GT’s bankruptcy won’t affect Apple Watch production as Apple is already working with a handful of other sapphire ingot (or cast) suppliers including Hansol and Harbin Aurora Optoelectronics.
For what it’s worth, the Mesa facility was supposed to create more than 700 high-quality jobs in the first year and “generate significant capital investment” going forward, as per The Arizona State Governor Janice K. Brewer’s November 2013 press release.
In addition, the project was expected to benefit the state by producing approximately 1,300 construction and other associated jobs.
Is Apple going to now buy GT for cheap and run the plant itself, do you think?
[Reuters, The Wall Street Journal]
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