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NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Conversion Of $217,250,000 Debt To Equity

Stocks in this article: NEWL

PIRAEUS, Greece, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NEWL) ("NewLead") today announced that Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd. ("Cyprus Popular Bank") agreed with NewLead to the conversion of $217,250,000 associated with the aggregate principal amount of 7% Convertible Senior Notes due 2015 (the "Notes"). The Notes are held by Focus Maritime Corp. ("Focus"), a company controlled by Michael Zolotas, the President and Chief Executive Officer of NewLead. Under the terms of the conversion, the Notes held by Focus will be converted into 264,939,024 shares of NewLead's common stock. Once issued, NewLead will have a total of 284,868,787 shares of common stock outstanding.

Michael Zolotas, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewLead, stated, "We agreed to convert this debt as a sign of my continued faith in NewLead. This conversion evidences the continued progress we have made in reducing NewLead's indebtedness. These shares are being acquired for the long term, and I have no current intention of disposing of them."

NewLead is currently discussing similar arrangements with Piraeus Bank S.A. and Lemissoler Maritime Company W.L.L. Under the agreement with Cyprus Popular Bank, NewLead may not allow debt to equity conversions on more favorable terms. There can be no assurance that Piraeus Bank S.A. or Lemissoler Maritime Company W.L.L. will agree to exchange their debt for equity on acceptable terms or at all.

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 5 vessels, of which two are double-hull product tankers and 3 are dry bulk vessels, including one vessel currently under construction that is scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2012. 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 www.newleadholdings.com.

"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.

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