TAMPA, Fla., June 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (OMEX), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean exploration, reported progress on the execution of the company’s business plan.
Odyssey’s business plan focuses on developing subsea mineral assets to create and realize near-term and long-term value. The company is actively expanding its subsea mineral portfolio through development of new projects, acquisition of mineral rights/deposits and through a leveraged contracting model that allows value to be realized in deep-sea mineral projects through the provision of our expert services. These assets are being advanced up the value creation curve which provides opportunities to monetize them through the sale of stakes in these individual assets at any stage of development. An example of this is Odyssey’s sale of a percentage of our Mexican phosphate project for $27.5 million at an early stage of its development prior to the resource assessment.
The management team and company are energized and executing the business plan on multiple fronts. Funding the further development of our business and expanding portfolio of mineral assets is being accomplished through use of mechanisms that are minimally dilutive to the company’s equity - focusing instead on the sale of interests in its various mineral assets.
On June 14, 2019, Odyssey executed an agreement that will provide non-recourse funding for prior, current and future projected costs of the NAFTA action being pursued in relation to Odyssey’s Mexican phosphate project. Third-party funding assures that the company’s existing cash resources will remain focused on building and enhancing its subsea mineral portfolio. The funder is a company that specializes in litigation financing of international investment dispute cases. By deciding to provide this non-recourse funding, the funder has signaled its confidence in the merits of our NAFTA action.
Odyssey’s NAFTA Notice of Arbitration (NOA) has now been published on Mexico’s Secretaria de Ecomomia website. An English version of that document is available at www.odysseymarine.com/nafta.
“We continue to believe that a negotiated settlement with Mexico and the issuance of our environmental permit is in Mexico’s and Odyssey’s best interests,” stated Mark Gordon, Odyssey Chairman and CEO. “However, if the Mexican government does not share this view, we are prepared to see this case through to its final conclusion in order to provide a full and fair valuation and ensure our shareholders realize their rightful return on this investment. As such, we are vigorously pursuing our claims under NAFTA.”
The company also has several other non-dilutive funding initiatives underway in-line with its business plan, including:
On June 18, 2019 Odyssey entered into a letter of intent (LOI) to sell up to one third of the 15% equity that the company holds in an early stage mineral project for up to $5 million. This transaction values the balance of Odyssey’s remaining interest in this project at $10 million, although pursuant to GAAP, there is currently no value assigned to this asset on Odyssey’s balance sheet. The first closing on this sale is expected in the third quarter of 2019.
On April 15, 2019, Odyssey announced an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in a significant subsea mineral project located in the waters of a South Pacific country jurisdiction that has already approved and invested in another seabed mining project. A key condition to completing the acquisition was obtaining an extension of the exploration license, which was recently granted by the mining authority in the controlling jurisdiction. This non-cash acquisition is now expected to close in the coming weeks. Once closed, Odyssey will immediately begin to advance the exploration plan to validate and quantify the precious metal content of the prospective resource. Odyssey plans to realize near-term cashflows from this asset by offering investors the opportunity to acquire a small stake in this early stage project. Odyssey also expects to be compensated for providing the expert services that will be required to advance the value of this asset.
“In my previous communications, I’ve discussed the ongoing transformation of our business. That transformation is now complete, and we are laser focused on our new business model - development of multi-billion-dollar assets through the discovery and development of valuable seafloor mineral deposits while being responsible stewards of the environment,” stated Mark Gordon, Odyssey Chairman and CEO. “Odyssey is at the forefront of this emerging industry, and we now have economic interests in a number of different seafloor mineral projects. These new projects have the potential to match or exceed the value of our Mexican phosphate deposit. And we’re now moving these projects through critical milestones that will allow us to realize that value in a manner that is meaningfully obvious in the overall valuation of our company.
Gordon added “I’m also pleased to announce that at the Odyssey Annual Meeting and Board Meeting held June 3, 2019, John Longley was named President in addition to his duties as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Longley will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and administration of the company. Laura Barton was also elected as our newest board member. These moves reflect the outstanding contributions and years of service to the company by Mr. Longley and Ms. Barton. Their appointments to these key positions after a combined 35 years’ experience at Odyssey underscores the level of experience and expertise we have been successful at maintaining in our key leadership positions. In addition, I will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and will also be replacing Greg Stemm as Chairman of the Board. Greg was named Chairman Emeritus and will continue his current role as an important consultant and key strategic advisor to Odyssey while developing new opportunities in the subsea mineral field for the company.”
About Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to provide access to critical resources worldwide. Our core focus is the discovery, development and extraction of deep-ocean minerals. Odyssey also provides marine services for private clients and governments. For additional details, please visit www.odysseymarine.com.
Forward Looking Information
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 1, 2019. The financial and operating projections as well as estimates of mining assets are based solely on the assumptions developed by Odyssey that it believes are reasonable based upon information available to Odyssey as of the date of this release. All projections and estimates are subject to material uncertainties and should not be viewed as a prediction or an assurance of actual future performance. The validity and accuracy of Odyssey's projections will depend upon unpredictable future events, many of which are beyond Odyssey's control and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that Odyssey's assumptions will prove true or that its projected results will be achieved.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured", "indicated," "inferred" and "resources," which the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of the inferred mineral resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable, and are urged to consider closely the disclosures in our Form 10-K which may be secured from us or from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
(813) 876-1776 x 2562