Billionaire Batista to Sell $300 Million EBX Stake This Week
Billionaire Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest person, will sell a 0.8 percent stake in his EBX Group Co. to a U.S. investor this week for $300 million as he seeks to boost foreign shareholding in the company.
Batista, speaking in an interview yesterday at the Rio Investors’ Day conference, didn’t identify the buyer, who he said is well known. The valuation is similar on a proportional basis to the stake he sold last month to Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co., he said.
Batista last month sold a 5.63 percent stake in the Rio de Janeiro-based holding company to Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund for $2 billion. Batista, 55, is raising money to diversify into industries from precious metals to entertainment and sports management, while investing in his existing iron-ore, oil, coal, shipping and power-generation companies. EBX has $8 billion in cash, Batista said.
Batista said there will be “more news by the end of this week,” when asked when the investor would be announced. “It’s an American company. You are going to like it.”
The billionaire initially said March 26 that he was in talks with sovereign-wealth funds to sell an additional $1 billion stake in EBX and on April 30 said the buyer may be an industrial partner. Batista said May 11 he was in talks with groups from the U.S. and Asia about the sale.
The Brazilian mining and energy magnate’s net worth surged 18 percent this year to $26.6 billion, making him the world’s 9th richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index daily ranking.
In January, Batista agreed to sell a 10 percent stake in his power company, MPX Energia SA (MPXE3), to Germany’s EON AG for 850 million reais ($410 million). In February he said he was in talks with wealth funds about selling part of his AUX gold unit.
Batista also said during the interview that he may sell shares from his gold unit AUX in a public offering after completing the certification of its reserves. The company, which has resources of 11 million ounces of gold in a Colombian mine, will have a certified report on its reserves as early as September, he said.
“We could also decide to drill more and make it bigger,” Batista said.
Batista, the son of a former Vale SA chief executive officer, became Brazil’s wealthiest man selling shares in a series of interlinking commodity startups. He’s pursuing ventures ranging from gold and iron ore to fertilizers and coal and managing Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts.
Batista’s coal unit CCX Carvao da Colombia SA will start trading in Sao Paulo on May 25 after the company is divested from MPX Energia, CCX Chief Executive Officer Leonardo Moretzsohn said May 15. The unit, Batista’s sixth company to trade publicly in Sao Paulo, has projects including development of a $5.5 billion coal mine, port and railway in Colombia.
Shares of MPX slid 2.7 percent to 42.80 reais in Sao Paulo.
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