Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Day before bank loan due, Odyssey Marine sells part of business for $21 million

Deep-sea treasure hunter Odyssey Marine Exploration went searching for riches of personal importance — and found it.

One day before $11.7 million in bank debt was due, the struggling Tampa company on Wednesday announced a financial bailout deal that gives it more stability and the possibility to rebound.

Odyssey said it sold a chunk of its business for $21 million to a firm called Monaco Financial. The deal means Odyssey will keep a 21.25 percent stake in any future proceeds from shipwreck projects, but the sale includes half of Odyssey's interest in Neptune Minerals — a business that seeks to mine underwater mineral deposits — and the building in Tampa where Odyssey executives operate. The bank debt due this week has now been retired.

"This agreement allows Odyssey to immediately monetize shipwreck assets, continue to perform world-class, deep-ocean shipwreck search, archaeology and recovery, and to retain upside potential from the assets we've created over the past 20 years," Odyssey CEO Mark Gordon said in a statement.

In a teleconference with analysts, Gordon said Odyssey's main focus will be to build its business of finding mineral deposits on the floor of the ocean. Searching for and salvaging shipwrecks will remain part of the mix, but less of a focus. The Odyssey CEO said an underseas find of phosphate, known as the Don Diego deposit off Mexico's coast, is a key business venture.

"Mineral deposits can be worth many multiples of shipwrecks," he said.

The company, whose business history is littered with dramatic shipwreck finds but also years of financial losses, has been seeking new injections of capital for some time.

Publicly traded Odyssey has watched its stock price drop dramatically in recent years. Shares dropped 14 months ago below $1 and recently hovered near 25 cents.

Odyssey shares closed up sharply Wednesday, rising 18 percent to 33 cents.

Will this deal be enough to float Odyssey's future? Keep the lifeboats handy.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected] Follow @venturetampabay.

Comments
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Published: 02/24/18
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18
Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

VALRICO — During his final few days, 19-year-old Dustin Snyder moved to a hospice house, surrounded himself with belongings from home, swam in a pool and visited the beach in Ruskin.Wherever he went, the terminally ill Valrico man had family beside h...
Published: 02/23/18
Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Published: 02/23/18

Tampa lawyer gets 27 months in federal prison for insider trading

Tampa lawyer Walter "Chet’’ Little was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for engaging in an insider trading scheme that reaped him and a friend profits totaling nearly $1 million.According to federal authorities, Little accessed comp...
Published: 02/23/18
More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

Three major companies — Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, and the cybersecurity giant Symantec — have ended co-branding partnerships with the National Rifle Association as a #BoycottNRA social media movement picks up steam.Enterprise...
Published: 02/23/18
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Published: 02/23/18
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Published: 02/23/18
BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

Millions of BB&T customers were unable to access their accounts after a service outage which the bank blames on an equipment malfunction. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank posted a statement on its Twitter page saying the problem persiste...
Published: 02/23/18
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Published: 02/23/18