OGX Shareholder Bid to Block Assets Sales Rejected by Rio Court

A shareholder request to block OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA from selling assets and making payments to companies affiliated with billionaire controller Eike Batista was rejected by a court in Rio de Janeiro.

Judge Maria Isabel Paes Goncalves denied the injunction, citing insufficient evidence to intervene in the company’s operations, according to a decision posted on the court’s website yesterday. The case was submitted by Rio lawyer and professor Jorge Lobo on behalf of his son Marcio Lobo, who owns 84,000 shares in the oil company.

“At the moment, I am convinced that making the company’s assets unavailable would bring more problems than solutions,” Goncalves said in the decision.

Batista’s six publicly traded companies have lost about $10 billion in market value between them this year, led by an 87 percent drop in OGX. The explorer is only producing a fraction of original targets at its first offshore oil project and may shut it next year, the company said July 1. It is also abandoning oil fields it previously declared commercial in the same area of the Campos Basin.

OGX won additional exploration licenses in a May 14 auction and expects to have the “necessary conditions” to pay a signing bonus within the deadline, the company said in a filing yesterday. It has consulted with Brazil’s oil regulator about using future production as a guarantee for the areas, OGX said.

The case is 0236942-88.2013.8.19.0001, according to the Rio Judiciary’s website.

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