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Press Release

Odyssey CEO Mark Gordon to Deliver Keynote and Investor Presentation at The LD 500 Virtual Investor Conference August 31 and September 3

August 31, 2020

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMEX), a deep-ocean exploration pioneer engaged in the discovery, development and extraction of deep-ocean minerals, today announced that Chairman and CEO Mark Gordon will  deliver a keynote presentation at 12:30 pm EDT today and an investor presentation on Thursday, September 3 at 11:40 am EDT at The LD 500 virtual investor conference. Registration is free and available through the conference website at https://ld500.ldmicro.com/.

“Last week we announced and closed a registered direct offering of securities that provided operating capital to take Odyssey through an expected catalytic event,” stated Mark Gordon. “The LD 500 conference is the perfect opportunity to present our plans and upcoming opportunities to a broader audience.”

The financing transaction provided $11.3 million to Odyssey; and Odyssey agreed to invest a portion of that amount to fund operating expenses of Exploraciones Oceanicas (ExO), holder of 50-year mining license for one of the largest untapped phosphate deposits in the world. Odyssey owns a controlling interest in ExO through Odyssey’s controlled Panamanian subsidiary, Oceanica Resources. Odyssey has filed a claim against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) based upon Mexico’s arbitrary and illegal denial of an environmental permit to recover phosphate sands in the license area.

The investor group was anchored by Odyssey’s existing NAFTA funding partner, Poplar Grove LLC. Poplar Grove is managed by Drumcliffe LLC, a private investment management firm that oversees high-value litigation funding portfolios of over $14 billion in claims.

“Drumcliffe’s sole focus is to finance and support the recovery of value for the victims of global fraud, corruption and wrongdoing. Our underwriting prior to investing in this matter revealed the actions of the Peña Nieto administration—in particular the actions of former SEMARNAT director Rafael Pacchiano—deprived both Odyssey and the Mexican people of the benefits of this valuable, transformative natural resource,” explained James C. Little, CEO of Drumcliffe. 

“We applaud the López Obrador administration’s efforts to remedy their predecessors’ misconduct and hope Odyssey and the Mexican Government can resolve this dispute amicably,” Mr. Little stated.  “But the proceeds of the registered direct offering and Drumcliffe’s arbitration funding will also ensure Odyssey has more than enough working capital to resolve this multi-billion dollar dispute through arbitration if it is forced to do so.  We look forward to reading Odyssey’s written arguments after they are filed.”

Several long-term Odyssey investors and litigation investment funds, including Kairos Litigation Opportunity Funds and FourWorld Capital Management are also included in the investor group. The Company believes that the large investments made after intensive due diligence by these funds, which specialize in evaluating litigation risk and potential, is an additional strong endorsement of the merits of Odyssey’s NAFTA case.

“To achieve the best outcome for Odyssey shareholders, whether through the full NAFTA process or through an earlier settlement, it is imperative that Odyssey and ExO have sufficient cash to last through the outside dates associated with the expected NAFTA timeline. The new financing does exactly that, while allowing us to make investments to create accretion in the phosphate project,” stated Mark Gordon. “This is also extremely significant in terms of management focus.  Based on current budgets and forecasts, this capital will provide Odyssey with the longest duration of operating capital in its 26-year history.  There has not been a point in time during our entire history where management did not have to dedicate some portion of its focus to capital raising activities. For the coming years, management can now turn our full attention to producing value-creating results for shareholders.

“As we put the finishing touches on our first Memorial filing in the NAFTA case, we are more confident than ever in the merits of our case. This will be Mexico’s first opportunity to review the evidence, which strongly corroborates the prior unanimous decision of Mexico’s own federal court in 2018 that the denial of the environmental permit was illegal under Mexican environmental law,” continued Gordon.

“Although the financing was designed to ensure that we have sufficient cash to last through the full duration of the arbitration process, we continue to believe a mutually beneficial settlement is in Mexico’s and our shareholder’s best interests. Mexico imports almost 60% of its phosphate rock, and a significant portion of Mexico’s arable land remains unfertilized. This project can help Mexico become a net exporter of fertilizer and achieve food security for its citizens,” added Gordon.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to provide access to critical resources worldwide. Our core focus is the discovery, development and extraction of deep-ocean minerals. Odyssey also provides marine services for private clients and governments. For additional details, please visit www.odysseymarine.com

Forward Looking Information
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 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, 2019, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2020. The financial and operating projections as well as estimates of mining assets are based solely on the assumptions developed by Odyssey that it believes are reasonable based upon information available to Odyssey as of the date of this release. All projections and estimates are subject to material uncertainties and should not be viewed as a prediction or an assurance of actual future performance. The validity and accuracy of Odyssey's projections will depend upon unpredictable future events, many of which are beyond Odyssey's control and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that Odyssey's assumptions will prove true or that its projected results will be achieved.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured," "indicated," "inferred" and "resources," which the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of the inferred mineral resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable, and are urged to consider closely the disclosures in our Form 10-K, which may be obtained from us or from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.


CONTACT:
Laura Barton  Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
(813) 876-1776 x 2562
laura@odysseymarine.com

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

Source: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.