Brazilian billionaire André Esteves has teamed up with Roger Agnelli (pictured), kicked out of iron ore giant Vale by government shareholders last year, to create their own mining company.
Six other ex-Vale execs have also been roped into the venture that will focus on mining investments – including iron ore, copper and fertilizer minerals – in Latin America and Africa.
Seed funding of $520 million is in place and B&A Mineração could start operating with two months.
The Financial Times reports the new company already holds a stake in Rio Verde Minerals, a potash explorer, and a project with Chilean miner Cuprum will start operating next year:
For Mr Agnelli, the headstrong executive who helped turn Vale into the world’s second-largest mining company by volumes, the move represents a long-awaited return to the industry after he was pushed out by government shareholders last April.
The partnership with Mr Agnelli’s investment company, AGN Participações, is also the first big move into mining for BTG Pactual, which went public this April in a $2bn listing and now ranks as Latin America’s biggest standalone investment bank.
Mr Esteves has already shown an interest in investing in Africa, launching in May a $1bn private equity fund for the continent to focus on areas such as energy and infrastructure.