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ZAPATA REDUCES CORPORATE DEBT WITH $68.5 MILLION PAYMENT

 HOUSTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Zapata Corporation (NYSE: ZOS) has paid a total of $68.5 million in senior debt owed to Norex America, Inc. (AMEX: NXA), Zapata Chairman and Chief Executive Officer R.C. Lassiter said today.
 "In light of current interest rates, it is most economic for Zapata to prepay a substantial portion of its senior debt," Lassiter said. "The remaining debt agreements have no covenants which would inhibit Zapata's ability to move quickly to make strategic acquisitions. Zapata should now have the ability to finance any significant acquisition which complements Zapata's consolidation strategy in the natural gas services industry."
 The transaction reduces Zapata's total debt from $142.4 million to $73.9 million, including the remaining $33.2 million owed to Norex, Zapata's principal creditor. The first quarter results will reflect a one-time charge of $6.8 million which includes a $3.5 million prepayment premium and $3.3 million of previously deferred fees and expenses relating to the Norex financing.
 The debt payment was funded through the November sale of 3.75 million shares of Tidewater Inc. common stock for approximately $77.8 million which resulted in a pretax gain of $33.8 million.
 The gain on the sale of Tidewater Inc. stock and the expense of the refinancing and prepayment will be included in the first quarter results. At this point, the costs associated with the repositioning of Zapata into natural gas services have been realized. Zapata's future earnings, beginning with the January-March 1994 quarter, will reflect the profitability of our operating assets.
 Zapata Corporation is a Houston-based international company primarily involved in natural gas services. Zapata rents, fabricates and services natural gas compression packages, as well as gathers and processes natural gas. Zapata also produces natural gas, and marine protein products.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: David Skarke, vice president, corporate development of Zapata Corporation, 713-940-6148/
 (ZOS NXA)


CO: Zapata Corporation; Norex America, Inc. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU:

PS -- NY078 -- 2358 12/09/93 16:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993
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