OGX Fires CFO as Batista Oil Startup Seeks Cash Injection

OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA dismissed Roberto Monteiro, leaving Eike Batista’s crude company without a head of finance as it seeks more money from creditors in a bid to prevent bankruptcy protection proceedings.

OGX’s board “approved the dismissal of Mr. Roberto Bernardes Monteiro from his posts as chief financial officer and director of investor relations, with the positions remaining vacant until a new director is chosen by the board,” the company said in a regulatory filing today. No further details were offered on the departure.

Monteiro joined OGX from sister company OSX Brasil SA, where he was also CFO, in April 2012 as Batista sought to adjust the startup’s investor relations strategy after it began to miss output targets. His departure comes after the stock lost more than 90 percent this year and OGX exercised a so-called put option against Batista for $1 billion on Sept. 6. The former billionaire is disputing terms of the option.

OGX probably will ask holders of $3.6 billion in bonds for more cash as part of a debt restructuring plan, Chief Executive Officer Luiz Carneiro said Sept. 12. Negotiations were going “very well,” he said at the time, predicting OGX would emerge healthy and capitalized.

Restructuring Adviser

While filing for bankruptcy protection is a possibility, OGX hopes to avoid the proceedings in a restructuring that may see Batista cede control of his flagship company, Carneiro said. Bondholders last month hired Rothschild to advise on restructuring while OGX is working with Blackstone Group LP.

OGX is trying to convince Petroliam Nasional Bhd., the Malaysian company that agreed to buy a 40 percent stake in its Tubarao Martelo field in May, to begin payments on the deal worth $850 million before restructuring is completed.

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. has notified OGX that it may end the contract for the Ocean Quest rig because the producer is behind on payments, according to a regulatory filing by Diamond yesterday. OGX owed Diamond $22.7 million on June 30.

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