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NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Material Progress of Restructuring Plan with Sale of Four Product Tankers

Friday, 23 December 2011 | 00:00
NewLead Holdings Ltd., an international shipping company owning and operating tankers and dry bulk vessels, yesterday announced that it agreed to sell four LR1 products tanker vessels. The sale of two vessels, the Newlead Fortune and the Newlead Avra, was completed today. The sale of the other two vessels, the Newlead Compass and the Newlead Compassion, is expected to be completed by the end of January 2012.The sale of these four vessels is part of NewLead's overall financial restructuring plan to reduce debt. The Bank of Scotland syndicate, composed of 10 institutions, agreed with NewLead to accept the net sale proceeds in full satisfaction of all liabilities owned to the syndicate under the governing loan agreement. Following the completion of the sale of the four vessels, NewLead's overall indebtedness will be reduced by $147.9 million .
As of today, prior to the delivery of the Newlead Fortune and the Newlead Avra, NewLead had $585.4 million of indebtedness[1] on its balance sheet and its fleet consisted of 20 vessels, composed of six tankers and 14 dry bulk vessels. Following the successful completion of sale of the four vessels, and after giving effect to the reduction of debt, NewLead will have $437.5 million of indebtedness. In addition, NewLead's fleet will consist of the following 16 vessels: 14 dry bulk vessels (including four newbuildings and one vessel currently under construction that is scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2012) and two product tankers.
Michael Zolotas , President and Chief Executive Officer of NewLead, stated, "The agreement with the Bank of Scotland syndicate to accept the sale proceeds in full satisfaction of their loan is the fundamental step in achieving a successful restructuring process. As a result of this agreement, we have significantly improved the Company's liquidity and operating flexibility. This agreement reflects the continuous hard work of the NewLead employees, who have worked around the clock, in difficult conditions, in meeting the many needs of an operating shipping company going through a restructuring."
Michael Zolotas added, "We will continue to work closely with our lenders as well as our restructuring advisors in order to successfully complete the financial restructuring of the Company and ensure a prosperous future for the Company to the benefit of its shareholder."
NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international, vertically integrated shipping company that owns and manages product tankers and dry bulk vessels. NewLead currently controls 18 vessels, including four double-hull product tankers and 14 dry bulk vessels including four newbuildings and one vessel currently under construction that is scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2012. NewLead's common shares are traded under the symbol "NEWL" on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
Source: NewLead Holdings Ltd.
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