TAMPA, Fla., March 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX), a pioneer in the fields of deep-ocean shipwreck and offshore mineral exploration, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has sold 15% of Oceanica Resources, S. de. R.L., a newly-organized subsidiary engaged in seafloor mineral exploration, for U.S. $15 million to Mako Resources, LLC, an independent investment group.
Mako purchased a total of 15 million Oceanica shares and was granted options to purchase an additional 15 million Oceanica shares at $2.50 per share before December 31, 2013. If all options are exercised, the aggregate gross proceeds to Odyssey would be U.S. $52.5 million.
Odyssey currently owns 62.6 million shares of Oceanica's 100 million shares outstanding. Odyssey executives hold two of three seats on the Oceanica's board of managers.
Oceanica controls exclusive permits in an offshore concession area believed to feature valuable mineral resources based on extensive exploratory activities and analysis undertaken by Odyssey. Preliminary resource assessments indicate that the concessions, which have been granted for a 50-year period, may have significant economic and strategic value.
For competitive reasons, Odyssey has not previously disclosed detailed information about this project or the type and location of its mineral deposits. This venture does not involve the previously reported equity positions in Neptune Minerals and Chatham Rock Phosphate, which are also both involved in separate seabed mineral projects.
"The successful exploration, preliminary development, and now sale of a portion of this valuable mineral asset validates our diversification into offshore mineral exploration and the pioneering work we've been doing in the field," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey's Chief Executive Officer. "We believe this sale also supports the potential value of our other offshore mineral interests and demonstrates how these assets can be monetized."
Odyssey plans to use the net proceeds of the sale to fund Odyssey's further exploration and recovery activity, including the planned silver recoveries from the SS Gairsoppa and SS Mantola, which are scheduled to resume in May of this year. Odyssey recently executed a charter agreement to again secure the Seabed Worker as the proven operating platform for these recoveries.
Added Stemm, "Between the increasing number of shipwreck recovery opportunities and our expanding underwater mineral exploration activities, we're successfully transforming Odyssey into a company with a diversified portfolio of valuable assets capable of providing significant cash flow and shareholder value."
About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology for historic shipwreck projects, modern commodity shipwrecks and mineral exploration. The company has a majority ownership stake in Oceanica Resources, and minority ownership stakes in Neptune Minerals and Chatham Rock Phosphate, Ltd, all companies controlling exclusive mineral licenses for areas believed to contain high-value ocean floor mineral deposits. Odyssey also provides contracting services, including proprietary deep-ocean expertise and equipment, to governments and companies around the world.
Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to the general public, students, and collectors through its webstore, exhibits, books, television, merchandise, educational programs and virtual museum located at www.OdysseysVirtualMuseum.com. The company also maintains a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/OdysseyMarine and a Twitter feed @OdysseyMarine.
Following previous successful engagements in New Orleans, Tampa, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Baltimore, Sarasota, San Antonio, and Hot Springs, Odyssey's SHIPWRECK! exhibit is currently on display at the Museum of Science, Boston.
For details on Odyssey's activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.
The Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7185
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this News Release may including "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Report Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1993 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, 2011, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Press Contact: Liz Shows Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (813) 876-1776 x 2335 firstname.lastname@example.org Investor Relations Contact: Ron Both Liolios Group, Inc. (949) 574-3860 OMEX@liolios.com
Source:Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.