Mubadala Said to Be in $1 Bln Talks for Batista’s Assets
Mubadala Development Co., the Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund, is in talks to buy some of the assets of former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista for about $1 billion, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The negotiations are for stakes in oil producer OGX Petroleo (OGXP3) & Gas Participacoes SA, MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA and LLX Logistica SA (LLXL3)’s Acu port in Rio de Janeiro state, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Mubadala is seeking international or local companies as partners on the deal, the people said.
Batista’s AUX gold business in Colombia is already being used as collateral for $1.5 billion he owes Mubadala after the fund converted a preferred equity investment in the former billionaire’s holding company, EBX Group Co., into debt last month, one of the people said. That arrangement will probably stay in place should a transaction involving the other Batista holdings be completed, the person said.
“Mubadala remains in close discussions with EBX and a number of interested parties, as EBX continues to restructure its businesses,” Brian Lott, a Mubadala spokesman in Abu Dhabi, said in a statement in response to questions. “We believe many EBX assets have significant potential value for Mubadala and other investors.”
Lott declined to comment when asked about specific assets being discussed.
Mubadala will buy a stake in state-owned Dubai Aluminum Co. to merge the United Arab Emirates’ two aluminum smelters and create a $15 billion joint venture, a person with knowledge of the plan said in June.
EBX, based in Rio de Janeiro, declined in an e-mail to comment on asset negotiations.
Batista, whose stakes in the assets involved in the talks total about $1.85 billion, is raising cash after his estimated fortune fell from $34.5 billion in March of last year to less than $1 billion after OGX missed production targets and triggered a sell-off of his companies’ shares and bonds.
He wrote in an opinion piece last month in Valor Economico newspaper that he would pay back anyone who has loaned him money.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at firstname.lastname@example.org