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July 18, 2002

Hitch in Halter sale
Things have not gone entirely smoothly with bankrupt Friede Goldman Halter, Inc.'s plans to sell its Halter Marine unit. Yesterday, FGH issued a statement saying it has continued the auction process related to the Halter business unit, originally scheduled to commence on July 16, to the morning of July 23.

On the afternoon of July 23, says the statement, a hearing will take place on the sale of the Halter unit to the successful bidder as determined at the auction. This revised process keeps the sale of Halter on schedule and the original timeline remains valid with the closing expected to take place in mid-August.

"This process of ensuring all bids for a company the size of Halter are compliant and balanced is complicated," said Jack Stone, Principal, Glass & Associates, Inc. and Chief Restructuring Advisor to FGH. "To make sure the auction is fair and equitable to all parties, we will take the time needed to ensure the final action is quick and the successful bid is accepted."

The key word in Stone's statement is "compliant." While FGH has entered an agreement to sell Halter Marine to Bollinger Shipyards, that sale is subject to the auction process. Those close to the proceedings say that a rival bidder has indeed emerged. That bidder is understood to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies. The compliancy issue is said to relate to a federal statute that apparently prohibits the sale of a shipyard to a foreign owner in a time of national emergency.

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