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Odyssey Marine Article

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May 31, 2007 – Comments (0)

The article's title (on thestreet.com) is "John Edwards Stakes His Claim on Pirate Booty." The reference is to the fact that Fortress (FIG) has a big position in Odyssey Marine (OMR) and Edwards is an advisor and investor with Fortress. Cheap title to try and grab eyeballs? Probably.

Also catching my eye was this comment of OMR's Greg Stemm, head of exploration, and his options:

"A treasure-hunter with stock options. Isn't Wall Street terrific?"

As mentioned in a comment on my original post on OMR, it may be a fairly unique type of business, but we're not talking about washed-out sailors who roam around the sea making dives for treasure on whims.

What I did find interesting in the article is the reference to suit that Spain has filed against OMR.

"Madrid says the treasure found by OMR might be "Spanish" and they might sue to get it "back."

"Ahem. Memo to the Spaniards: Whom do you think you're kidding? Every single ounce of gold your country's galleons brought back from South America, all those centuries ago, was stolen from the natives. The conquistadores raped, murdered and plundered the continent for every scrap of precious metal they could find.

"If your pirates lost the gold and someone else found it, exactly how much moral claim do you think you have?

"If we're playing finders keepers, the treasure belongs to Stemm, Morris, Edwards and the other shareholders in OMR. If we aren't playing finders keepers, it belongs to the Incas and the Aztecs."

Well played...

Also, it's notable that Spain's suit does not specifically attack the Black Swan find, but the Spanish government has expressed some skepticism that the ship wasn't a Spanish galleon.

-Kopp 

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