NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Agreement for Sale of Two Vessels and Provides Update on Restructuring Effort

Aug 16, 2011, 08:30 ET from NewLead Holdings Ltd.

PIRAEUS, Greece, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NEWL) ("NewLead" or "the Company"), an international shipping company owning and operating tankers and dry bulk vessels, today announced that on August 12, 2011, First Business Bank ("FBB") and NewLead entered into a sale agreement for two vessels, the Newlead Prosperity and the Newlead Spartounta.  Pursuant to the terms of the sale agreement, the Company will cooperate with FBB to proceed with the immediate sale of Newlead Spartounta no later than September 13, 2011 and the sale of Newlead Prosperity by auction or judicial sale. In return of the aforementioned agreement, FBB has agreed to cancel the corporate guarantees by NewLead of its debt and share pledges in respect to these two loans until the completion of these sales, at which time the guarantees and share pledges shall be unconditionally and irrevocably released and cancelled.

As a result of prolonged challenging market conditions, NewLead has entered into discussions with its lenders to develop an interim plan that will improve liquidity and operating flexibility while developing a sustainable capital structure.  The Company has appointed Moelis & Company and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as its advisors to assist with this process.  The Company is seeking waivers from its lenders to various restrictive covenants and an agreement that they will forbear from exercising remedies under their respective debt arrangements.

Although the Company is optimistic that it will reach an agreement with its lenders on the short-term waivers of defaults and on the terms of the restructuring of the Company's indebtedness, no assurances can be provided that these agreements will be concluded.

Michael Zolotas, President, Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer of NewLead, stated, "While we are facing very difficult market conditions, we are committed to continue working with our lenders and other commercial partners to develop a sustainable capital structure that will ensure the long term prospects of NewLead."

About NewLead Holdings Ltd.

NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international, vertically integrated shipping company that owns and manages product tankers and dry bulk vessels. NewLead currently controls 22 vessels, including six double-hull product tankers and 16 dry bulk vessels of which two are newbuildings. NewLead's common shares are traded under the symbol "NEWL" on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. To learn more about NewLead Holdings Ltd., please visit the new website at

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

This press release includes assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events. These statements, as well as words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "project," "plan," and "expect," are intended to be ''forward-looking" statements. We caution that assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events may vary from actual results and the differences can be material. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, such matters as future operating or financial results; our liquidity position and cash flows, our ability to borrow additional amounts under our revolving credit facility and, if needed, to obtain waivers from our lenders and restructure our debt, and our ability to continue as a going concern; statements about planned, pending or recent vessel disposals and/or acquisitions, business strategy, future dividend payments and expected capital spending or operating expenses, including dry-docking and insurance costs; statements about trends in the product tanker and dry bulk vessel shipping segments, including charter rates and factors affecting supply and demand; expectations regarding the availability of vessel acquisitions; completion of repairs; length of off-hire; availability of charters; and anticipated developments with respect to any pending litigation. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although NewLead believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, NewLead cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections described in the forward looking statements. Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charter rates and vessel values, failure of a seller to deliver one or more vessels, and other factors discussed in NewLead's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. NewLead expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in NewLead's expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.

Investor Contact:

Media Contact:

Thomas J. Rozycki Jr.

Elisa Gerouki

CJP Communications

NewLead Holdings Ltd.

+1 (212) 279 3115 x208

+ 30 (213) 014 8023

SOURCE NewLead Holdings Ltd.