Eike Batista, the Man Who Lost $25 Billion in One Year

Brazil’s Eike Batista takes a beating in the commodities slump
Investors betting against him will be “caught with their pants down.” —Batista, on Twitter Photograph by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

A year ago, Eike Batista was Brazil’s richest man, and his goal of climbing to No. 1 in the world seemed within reach. After founding five publicly traded natural-resource companies in six years, he’d just sold a stake in his EBX Group conglomerate that valued his holdings at $34.5 billion. His companies had yet to turn a profit, so the deal, struck with an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, was mainly a testament to Batista’s vision: an integrated empire of companies, shipping oil and iron ore to China from a port he was building near Rio de Janeiro. “I think Eike is a special kind of entrepreneur,” said Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff during a visit to the port project in April. “He’s a person who comes up with extremely ambitious dreams and then seeks to fulfill them.”

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