Billionaire Eike Batista (pictured), Brazil’s richest man, is selling a 49 percent stake in his AUX gold business to the Qatar Investment Authority for about $2 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.
EBX Group Co., Batista’s Rio de Janeiro-based holding company, decided to sell a stake in AUX after shelving plans to take the company public. AUX mines for gold in Colombia. Batista told reporters yesterday in Rio that he had sold an AUX stake without disclosing the buyer or the price.
An EBX official in Rio declined to comment. A call to a Dubai-based official of the Qatar Investment Authority outside of business hours wasn’t answered, while a representative for the fund in London declined to comment.
“Sovereign wealth funds are interested in investing in real assets” such as gold, the 55-year-old mining and energy magnate, whose investments range from iron ore to coal, told reporters on Feb. 15. AUX paid C$1.08 billion ($1.05 billion) last year to buy Ventana Gold Corp.
AUX is worth $5 billion, Batista said in October, and has 7.2 million ounces of gold reserves after the acquisition of Vancouver-based Ventana in March 2011. AUX’s La Bodega mine, located 400 kilometers (248 miles) northeast of Bogota, also has copper and silver deposits.
Batista’s net worth has climbed 8.7 percent this year, or $2 billion, to $24.5 billion, making him the 13th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the planet’s wealthiest individuals. He has vowed to overtake Carlos Slim, the richest man with a net worth of $68.3 billion, by 2015.
OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, Batista’s oil company, dropped 32 percent in Sao Paulo trading this year. The Bovespa benchmark index fell 2.2 percent.
You must be logged in to post a comment.