Brazilian tycoon Batista sells Colombian coal mines for $450 million

Brazil’s ruling socialist government casts aside its former “pet entrepreneur”

Once $30 billion-worth Brazilian magnate Eike Batista, now practically bankrupt, sold Wednesday his coal projects in Colombia to Turkey’s Yildirim Holding AS for nearly $450 million.

Under a preliminary agreement CCX, which Batista spun off last year to manage his greenfield coal projects in the South American country, will sell its Canaverales and Papayal open-pit mines to Yildirim for about $50 million, the firm said in a regulatory filing.

CCX also said it expects to close the sale of the two mines by the end of the year, after a Sept. 13 agreement to sell the mines to Transwell Enterprises Inc. expired. The San Juan project transaction should be completed in April 2014, the coal firm said, adding that Yildirim will make a $5 million payment to negotiate the purchase of the Colombian mines in exclusivity.

Another of Batista’s five companies, oil and gas driller OGX—the cornerstone of his short-lived mining, energy and shipping empire— said late Tuesday that debt restructuring talks with holders of $3.6 billion in bonds ended with no agreement.

OGX needs about $250 million of new funding to keep operating through April 2014, the company said in a presentation to bond holders during negotiations and in a posting on its website. Without fresh capital, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said it expects to run out of cash in the last week of December.

According to Thomson Reuters data, if OGX ends up seeking court protection from creditors, it would be the largest-ever corporate bankruptcy filing in Latin America. However, CNBC reports that once the company has filed for bankruptcy, a judge can order that contractors be paid first in order for the company to keep functioning at its core mission—making it easier to pay back creditors.

Image by Arquivo/Hipólito Pereira, via Flickr Commons

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