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OGX Posts Record Gain Amid Speculation Batista to Cede Control

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the worst-performing major oil stock this year, surged the most on record amid speculation Eike Batista will cede control of the company and as the former billionaire’s mining unit sold assets.

OGX gained 48 percent to 34 centavos in Sao Paulo, reducing its slump this year to 92 percent. The rally was the biggest on the Brazilian benchmark index and the steepest since the company’s June 2008 initial public offering.

Investor website InfoMoney attributed OGX’s surge to speculation that Batista, who missed a series of production targets and lost about $30 billion of his fortune in the past year, would leave the company he founded in a possible agreement with creditors. MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA, the former billionaire’s mining unit, soared as much as 18 percent today after Trafigura Beheer BV and Mubadala Development Co. agreed to buy a controlling stake in its iron-ore port in Brazil.

“There’s a lot of noise in the market, and one possibility is Eike leaving the controlling group,” Lucas Brendler, who helps manage about 4 billion reais ($1.8 billion) at Geracao Futuro Corretora in Porto Alegre, Brazil, said by telephone. “The creditors would probably like to see him out of the company and go on dealing with the executives. Having Eike out would be the start of finding a way out.”

OGX Chief Executive Officer Luiz Carneiro said Sept. 13 that Batista may lose control of OGX as part of a debt restructuring. OGX’s press department in Rio de Janeiro didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

The oil producer, once the centerpiece in Batista’s commodities group, missed a $45 million Oct. 1 bond payment that puts him on the brink of Latin America’s biggest corporate default.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at pmillard1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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