Agreement reached betwee Frontline Ltd. and Bentley InvestmentM Golden Ocean Bankruptcy case.


Frontline Ltd. and Bentley Investments S.A. have through constructive and good faith negotiation executed a letter agreement which allows Frontline and Bentley to cooperate with each other in the future and resolves their litigation. The agreement also sets the stage for Frontline to maximise recoveries for creditors of Golden Ocean through Frontline’s plan of reorganization. Pursuant to that agreement, Bentley will withdraw its competing plan of reorganization for Golden Ocean and fully support the Frontline plan of reorganization. Frontline shall also have the right to designate a member of Golden Ocean’s board of directors.

Frontline has agreed to seek bankruptcy court approval to enable it to replace and refinance Bentley as the current postpetition lender to Golden Ocean. The agreement also provides that, as of the effective date of the Frontline plan of reorganization, Golden Ocean will grant Bentley a restricted right of first refusal with respect to Golden Ocean’s dry cargo assets.

The agreement between Frontline and Bentley is conditioned, among other things, on Frontline’s commitment not to reduce the percentage recoveries to Golden Ocean’s unsecured creditors from that described in Frontline’s plan of reorganisation dated as of July 7, 2000 and the dismissal of certain litigation against Bentley by the Official Creditors Committee of Golden Ocean.

Bentley Investor Victor Retsis says in a comment to the deal: “This deal made a lot of sense for both parties. The agreement puts the disputes and acrimony previously encountered behind us, and we look forward to dealing with Frontline in the future. It is obvious that the problems previously encountered were caused by mutual misunderstandings and the failure to maintain direct lines of communication.”

Chairman of Frontline John Fredriksen says: “I am pleased that we together with Bentley have been able to resolve the locked up situation. The negotiations with Bentley were concluded in a professional way with mutual concessions from both sides. I share the opinion of Mr. Retsis as to the reasons that led to unnecessary disputes and acrimony. The agreements put Frontline in a strong position to progress with its plan for restructuring of Golden Ocean.”

New York, 28 July 2000