Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest person, said he expects to find buyers for a stake in his coal unit CCX Carvao da Colombia SA by the end of the year after hiring Morgan Stanley to help find a partner.
Batista is in talks with possible buyers and is willing to sell between 30 percent and 50 percent of CCX, the billionaire said in an interview in Rio de Janeiro late yesterday. It may take adviser Morgan Stanley an estimated six months to coordinate the divestiture, he said, shrugging off possible delays because of fluctuations in international markets.
“You always manage to find a partner or sell a stake in quality projects such as the ones we have,” Batista said. “Even during difficult times you can sell good assets.”
Batista, 55, is raising money from international investors to expand his oil, iron-ore, coal, shipping and power-generation companies. The billionaire this year agreed to sell stakes in his EBX Group Co. holding company to Mubadala Development Co. and General Electric Co. He also completed deals with EON AG and International Business Machines Corp., which acquired stakes in his electricity and technology units.
Batista said on May 25 he hired Morgan Stanley to sell a stake in CCX. The company, which was spun off from power producer MPX Energia SA, began trading in Sao Paulo the same day.
Companies from China, South Korea and India may be interested in the CCX stake because those countries are trying to secure a supply of natural resources, Batista said in yesterday’s interview. CCX may also attract companies with experience in operating underground coal mines, he said.
“We are interested in well-known world mining companies that operate these type of mines,” Batista said. Batista’s net worth has surged 8.6 percent in 2012 to $24.4 billion, making him the world’s 13th richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index daily ranking.
Rio de Janeiro-based CCX plans to invest $5.5 billion to develop a mine, a railway and a port project in Colombia with the capacity to produce an average of 25 million metric tons for 20 years, MPX said May 14. CCX has 671.8 million tons in coal reserves and coal resources of 5.22 billion tons.
CCX, the sixth of Batista’s companies to be listed in Sao Paulo, gained 0.7 percent to 5.65 reais at the close today. The stock has declined 34 percent since its May 25 listing.