NASSAU, Bahamas, Dec. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) Limited (Nasdaq:ULTR), an industrial transportation company serving marine transportation needs in three markets (River Business, Offshore Supply Business and Ocean Business), announced today the closing of its previously announced investment agreement with Sparrow Capital Investments, Ltd ("Sparrow"), a subsidiary of Southern Cross Latin America Private Equity Funds III and IV ("Southern Cross"). Ultrapetrol sold 110,000,000 shares of newly issued common stock to Sparrow at a purchase price of $2.00 per share. The Company received proceeds of $220 million from the transaction. Prior to closing of the transaction, Sparrow waived the condition to closing that required the Company to obtain a waiver of certain repurchase rights by holders of the Company's Convertible Senior Notes due 2017 (the "Convertible Notes").
Net proceeds from the investment will strengthen the Company's balance sheet and be used for general corporate purposes, including financing growth opportunities in Ultrapetrol's Offshore Business Unit in Brazil. As previously announced, the transaction was approved by a special committee of Ultrapetrol´s Board of Directors comprising two disinterested directors that received a fairness opinion, in accordance with the Company´s Articles and Memorandum of Association.
Ultrapetrol also announced that it has appointed Horacio Reyser and Gonzalo Alende Serra to its board of directors, effective immediately, following the resignation of Leonard J. Hoskinson and Michael C. Hagan. In addition, in connection with the investment agreement between Sparrow and the Company executed on November 13, 2012, the Company (1) made certain amendments to its Articles and Memorandum of Association at the time of closing, and (2) entered into a registration rights agreement for the shares purchased by Sparrow and shares currently owned by two existing shareholders of the Company.Felipe Menéndez, Ultrapetrol's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Southern Cross Group has a history of successfully working with companies in South America to achieve their long-term goals, and we look forward to having them as a partner. With this investment, we have secured $220 million in additional equity which significantly strengthens our balance sheet and enhances our ability to execute our growth strategy.