General Maritime Corporation Announces Amendments to Credit Facilities

Dec 22, 2010, 17:25 ET from General Maritime Corporation

NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- General Maritime Corporation (NYSE: GMR) announced today that the Company has entered into agreements to amend its $372 million senior secured credit facility and $750 million revolving credit facility. Nordea Bank and DnB NOR Bank ASA acted as the lead arrangers of the facilities.

Under the terms of the amended credit facilities, the permitted Net Debt to EBITDA ratio will increase to 8.75 times from the previous requirement of 6.0 times.  This new maintenance covenant ratio will be in effect for the 2010 fourth quarter through the 2011 third quarter. For the fourth quarter 2011 through the life of each facility, the maintenance covenant ratio will revert to 5.5 times.  

Jeffrey D. Pribor, Chief Financial Officer of General Maritime Corporation, stated, "With these amendments, General Maritime has once again taken proactive steps to significantly enhance its financial flexibility.  We appreciate the ongoing support of world-class banks, highlighting our industry leadership.  Going forward, we will maintain our focus on pursuing opportunities to further strengthen our balance sheet. With a flexible deployment strategy and a diverse service offering, we have positioned the Company to both achieve a level of stability in our results and take advantage of future tanker rate increases."  

The applicable margin and permitted dividend are based on a pricing grid. While the Net Debt to EBITDA ratio is greater than 6.0 times, the facilities will bear an interest rate of LIBOR plus 350 bps; while it is 6.0 times or less, the facilities will bear an interest rate of LIBOR plus 300 bps. Similarly, while the Net Debt to EBITDA ratio is greater than 6.0 times, the Company will be permitted to pay a dividend of up to $0.01 per share per quarter; while it is 6.0 times or less, the Company will be permitted to pay up to $30 million per year in total dividends.

About General Maritime Corporation

General Maritime Corporation is a leading crude and products tanker company serving principally within the Atlantic basin, which includes ports in the Caribbean, South and Central America, the United States, West Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe and the North Sea. General Maritime also currently operates tankers in other regions including the Black Sea and Far East. General Maritime owns a fully double-hull fleet of 37 tankers - seven VLCC, twelve Aframax, twelve Suezmax tankers, two Panamax and four Product tankers - with a total carrying capacity of approximately 5.6 million dwt.

"Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and observations. Included among the factors that, in the Company's view, could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements contained in this press release are the following: loss or reduction in business from the Company's significant customers; the failure of the Company's significant customers to perform their obligations owed to us; changes in demand; a material decline in rates in the tanker market; changes in production of or demand for oil and petroleum products, generally or in particular regions; greater than anticipated levels of tanker newbuilding orders or lower than anticipated rates of tanker scrapping; changes in rules and regulations applicable to the tanker industry, including, without limitation, legislation adopted by international organizations such as the International Maritime Organization and the European Union or by individual countries; actions taken by regulatory authorities; actions by the courts, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Justice or other governmental authorities and the results of the legal proceedings to which the Company or any of its vessels may be subject; changes in trading patterns significantly impacting overall tanker tonnage requirements; changes in the typical seasonal variations in tanker charter rates; changes in the cost of other modes of oil transportation; changes in oil transportation technology; increases in costs including without limitation: crew wages, insurance, provisions, repairs and maintenance; changes in general domestic and international political conditions; changes in the condition of the Company's vessels or applicable maintenance or regulatory standards (which may affect, among other things, the company's anticipated drydocking or maintenance and repair costs); changes in the itineraries of the Company's vessels; adverse changes in foreign currency exchange rates affecting the Company's expenses; the fulfillment of the closing conditions under, or the execution of customary additional documentation for, the Company's agreements to acquire vessels; sourcing, completion and funding of financing on acceptable terms; financial market conditions and other factors listed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, its Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2009 and its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

SOURCE General Maritime Corporation