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NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Preliminary Agreement For $81.2 Million In Debt Reduction

PIRAEUS, Greece, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NEWL) ("NewLead" or the "Company") today announced that the Company reached a preliminary agreement with Lemissoler Maritime Company W.L.L. ("Lemissoler") regarding the termination of the sale and leaseback of the four dry bulk vessels previously redelivered to Lemissoler. Under this agreement, Lemissoler will unconditionally release NewLead from all obligations in exchange for 174.0 million shares of NewLead's common stock. It is anticipated that this will result in a reduction of $81.2 million of indebtedness from NewLead's consolidated balance sheets. This agreement is subject to customary closing conditions.

Upon the completion of this transaction, it is expected that NewLead will have a total of 482,252,385 shares of common stock outstanding and four vessels under its control.

Michael Zolotas, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewLead, stated: "The preliminary agreement with Lemissoler to convert debt to equity is another significant milestone in NewLead's restructuring process. Since July 2011, we have reduced NewLead's indebtedness by an aggregate of approximately $628.3 million."  

Michael Zolotas continued, "Following the successful completion of our restructuring efforts, which we anticipate will take place in the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2012, we expect that we will have reduced the amount of debt on our balance sheet to around $58.0 million."  

About NewLead Holdings Ltd.

NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international, vertically integrated shipping company that manages product tankers and dry bulk vessels. NewLead currently controls four vessels, two tankers and two dry bulk vessels. 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.

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