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Ultrapetrol completes the sale of 14 barges and provides business update

Ultrapetrol announced the sale of a further 14 wet and dry barges to a third party in Colombia. The barges are scheduled for delivery starting at the end of 2012 and extending through Q2 of 2013. This sale will provide the company with proceeds of $20.3M, of which 50% will be advanced by the buyer. With this sale, the yard is fully employed until the end of Q1 of 2013. In addition, the company provided a brief update on its operations and EBITDA expectations for the remainder of the year. In the River Business, levels in the High Paraguay River have recovered and it is currently expected that iron ore shipments will continue as normal until October 2012. In the Offshore Supply Business, the first newbuilding from a shipyard in India, the UP Jade, is arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 27 and will be delivered to Petrobras on a four year charter at a rate of $33,000 per day. As previously announced, the company is currently under firm negotiations with Petrobras to renew the contracts for three of its PSV's that expire in 2012, each for four year periods at increased rates. These new contracts are expected to generate a combined increase in earnings of approximately $8M per year. The company expects 2012 adjusted EBITDA to be between $60M-$66M -- including the EBITDA resulting from the firm sale of 24 barges which will be built for a third party and that will be leased to the company as previously reported.