In evaluating our Company and our business, one should carefully consider the following factors, in addition to the other information on the Company’s website and in its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our business, operations and financial condition are subject to various risks. Some of these risks are described below, and should be carefully considered in evaluating Odyssey or any investment decision relating to our securities. This section does not describe all risks applicable to Odyssey, its industry or its business. It is intended only as a summary of the principal risks. However, additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business operations. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, or operating results could suffer. If this occurs, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of the money you paid to buy our common stock.
Our business involves a high degree of risk.
An investment in Odyssey is extremely speculative and of exceptionally high risk. Although we have access to a substantial amount of research and data which has been compiled regarding various shipwreck projects, the quality and reliability of such research and data is uncertain. Even if we are able to plan and obtain permits for our various projects, there is a possibility that the shipwrecks may have already been salvaged or may not be found, or may not have had anything valuable on board at the time of the sinking. Even if objects of value are located and recovered, there is the possibility that the excavation cost will exceed the value of the objects recovered or that others, including both private parties and governmental entities, will assert conflicting claims and challenge our rights to the recovered objects. Finally, even if we are successful in locating and retrieving objects from a shipwreck and establishing title to them, there are no assurances as to the value that such objects will bring at their sale, as the market for such objects is uncertain.
The research and data we use may not be reliable.
The success of a shipwreck project is dependent to a substantial degree upon the research and data we have obtained. By its very nature, research and data regarding shipwrecks can be imprecise, incomplete and unreliable. It is often composed of or affected by numerous assumptions, rumors, legends, historical and scientific inaccuracies and misinterpretations which have become a part of such research and data over time.
Availability of raw materials may be limited.
The availability of inventory is primarily dependent on the success of finding raw materials in the form of intrinsically valuable cargoes from shipwrecks. If we are not successful in the exploration and recovery of shipwrecks, we would not have sufficient inventory to sell.
Operations may be affected by natural hazards.
Underwater recovery operations are inherently difficult and dangerous and may be delayed or suspended by weather, sea conditions or other natural hazards. Further, such operations may be undertaken more safely during certain months of the year than others. We cannot guarantee that we, or the entities we are affiliated with, will be able to conduct search and recovery operations during favorable periods. In addition, even though sea conditions in a particular search location may be somewhat predictable, the possibility exists that unexpected conditions may occur that adversely affect our operations. It is also possible that natural hazards may prevent or significantly delay search and recovery operations.
We may be unable to establish our rights to any objects we recover.
Persons and entities other than Odyssey and entities we are affiliated with (both private and governmental) may claim title to the shipwrecks and/or valuable cargo that we may recover. Even if we are successful in locating and recovering shipwrecks and/or valuable cargo, we cannot assure we will be able to establish our right to property recovered if challenged by governmental entities, prior owners, or other attempted salvors claiming an interest therein. In such an event we could spend a great deal of time and money on a shipwreck project, and receive no salvage claim or revenue for our work.
The market for any objects we recover is uncertain.
Even if valuable items can be located and recovered in the future, it is difficult to predict the price that might be realized for such items. The value of recovered items will fluctuate with the precious metals market, which has been highly volatile in past years. In addition, the entrance on the market of a large supply of similar items from shipwrecks and/or valuable cargo located and recovered by others could depress the market.
We could experience delays in the disposition or sale of recovered objects.
The methods and channels that may be used in the disposition or sale of recovered items are uncertain at present and may include several alternatives. Ready access to buyers for any artifacts or other valuable items recovered cannot be guaranteed. Delays in the disposition of such items could adversely affect our cash flow.
Legal, political or civil issues could interfere with our recovery operations.
Legal, political or civil initiatives of countries and/or major maritime governments could restrict access to shipwrecks or interfere with our search and recovery operations.
Objects we recover could be stolen from us.
If we locate a shipwreck and assert a valid claim to items of value, there is a risk of theft of such items at sea both before and after their recovery, by “pirates” or poachers and while in transit to a safe destination. Such thefts may not be adequately covered by insurance.
We face competition from others.
There are a number of competing entities engaged in various aspects of the shipwreck business, and in the future other competitors may emerge. One or more of these competing entities may locate and recover a shipwreck that we intend to locate and recover. In addition, these competing entities may be better capitalized and may have greater resources to devote to their pursuit of the shipwreck.
We may be unable to get permission to conduct salvage operations.
It is possible we will not be successful in obtaining title or permission to excavate certain wrecks. In addition, permits that are sought for the projects may never be issued, and if issued, may not be legal or honored by the entities that issued them.
Changes in our business strategy or restructuring of our businesses may increase our costs or otherwise affect the profitability of our businesses or segments.
As changes in our business environment occur we may need to adjust our business strategies to meet these changes or we may otherwise find it necessary to restructure our operations or particular businesses or assets. When these changes or events occur, we may incur costs to change our business strategy and may need to write down the value of assets. In any of these events our costs may increase, and we may have significant charges associated with the write-down of assets.
We may be unsuccessful in raising the necessary capital to fund operations and capital expenditures.
Our ability to generate cash flow is dependent upon the success of our ability to recover and monetize high-value shipwrecks. However, we cannot guarantee that the sales of our products and other available cash sources will generate sufficient cash flow to meet our overall cash requirements. If cash flow is not sufficient to meet our business requirements, we will be required to raise additional capital through other financing activities. While we have been successful in raising the necessary funds in the past, there can be no assurance we can continue to do so in the future.
We depend on key employees and face competition in hiring and retaining qualified employees.
Our employees are vital to our success, and our key management and other employees are difficult to replace. We currently do not have employment contracts with our key employees or officers. Further, we do not maintain key person life insurance on any of our employees. We may not be able to retain highly qualified employees in the future which could adversely affect our business.
Our articles of incorporation authorize generic preferred stock.
Our articles of incorporation initially authorized the issuance of up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, 190,000 shares of which have been retired. As a result, we are authorized to issue up to 9,810,000 shares of preferred stock. Our board of directors has the right to establish the terms, preference, rights and restrictions of the preferred stock. Such preferred stock could be issued with terms, rights, preferences and restrictions that could discourage other persons from attempting to acquire control and thereby insulate incumbent management. In certain circumstances, the existence of corporate devices that would inhibit or discourage takeover attempts could have a negative effect on the market value of our common stock. Our Board of Directors has designated 7,340,000 shares of our preferred stock as Series D Convertible Preferred Stock, which we refer to as Series D Preferred Stock, 20 shares of our preferred stock as Series E Convertible Preferred Stock, which we refer to as Series E Preferred Stock, and 30 shares of our preferred stock as Series F Convertible Preferred Stock, which we refer to as Series F Preferred Stock. As of March 1, 2008, we have outstanding (a) 6,900,000 shares of Series D Preferred Stock, (b) warrants to purchase an aggregate of 440,000 shares of Series D Preferred Stock, (c) 13 shares of Series E Preferred Stock, and (d) 22 shares of Series F Preferred Stock.
This list does not purport to describe all of the risk factors relating to Odyssey’s business. For a more detailed description of risk factors relating to the Company, interested parties should review the Company’s most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies may also be obtained by contacting the Company at the following address:
Odyssey Marine Exploration
5215 W. Laurel Street
Tampa, Florida 33607
Phone (813) 876-1776 Fax (813) 876-1777
|© Copyright, 1998 , Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., Tampa, FL 33679-2057, USA - All Rights Reserved|