updated 12/20/2010 1:16:32 AM ET 2010-12-20T06:16:32

NASSAU, Bahamas, Dec. 20, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) Limited ("the Company") (Nasdaq:ULTR) announced today its intention to offer to sell, subject to market and other conditions, $60.0 million aggregate principal amount of its Convertible Senior Notes due 2017 (the "Notes"). The Company expects to grant the initial purchasers of the Notes an option to purchase up to an additional $10.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes to cover overallotments. Subject to approval by shareholders, the Notes will be convertible into shares of the Company's common stock at any time prior to the close of business on the business day immediately preceding the maturity date of the notes. The interest rate, conversion rate, offering price and other terms are to be determined by negotiations between the Company and the initial purchasers. The Company's Board of Directors has authorized the required corporate actions to hold in January 2011 the necessary shareholder meeting to obtain approval of the issuance of the common stock into which the Notes are convertible and has set a record date for the meeting of December 31, 2010. Shareholders representing more than 70% of the voting power of the Company's outstanding common stock have entered into a binding agreement to vote all of their shares in favor of the issuance of the common stock at the above-mentioned shareholder meeting. 

While the Company currently does not have any binding commitments or definitive agreements to enter into potential acquisitions, it intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the Notes to expand its PSV operations in Brazil, including the potential construction or acquisition of additional vessels; support the development of its river container trade, including potential acquisitions or the construction of additional vessels; accelerate the construction of additional new river barges in its shipyard; and for general corporate purposes. Prior to deployment of the proceeds from the offering of the Notes as set forth above, they will be held for general corporate purposes.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. The offering will be made only to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and non-U.S. persons in accordance with Regulation S promulgated under the Securities Act. The securities to be offered have not been registered under the Securities Act, or any state securities laws, and unless so registered, may not be offered or sold except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

The Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) Limited logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3164

Safe Harbor

This press release includes forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the satisfaction of the closing conditions contained in the purchase agreement between the Company and the initial purchasers, the negotiations between the Company and the initial purchasers regarding the terms of the notes, either of which could change as a result of various market conditions. As a result of these risks, uncertainties and other factors, actual results could differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. Other risks that could impact the offering are described in detail in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2009 as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

 ULTR-F

CONTACT:  The IGB Group
          Leon Berman
            212-477-8438 
            lberman@igbir.com
          David Burke
            646-673-9701
            dburke@igbir.com

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