Brazil’s Batista makes another sale
Brazil’s most troubled mining magnate, Eike Batista, has successfully rid himself of yet another asset: Inversiones Cooper Mining has agreed to buy the Chile-focused MMX Mineração e Metalicos.
The iron-ore mining company is part of Batista’s six-part EBX Group which has made headlines over the past year for its financial troubles – including mountains of outstanding debt – which resulted in a major assets sell-off.
Earlier this month EBX let go of its LLX logistics firm to US-based EIG Global Energy Partners for $560 million – MMX was next on the chopping block.
The mining company reported the sale to Sao Paulo’s stock exchange on Wednesday, Fox News reports. Cooper Mining will control the company but the Brazilian firm will receive royalties for each tonne of ore sold.
MMX has been hit with not only a weak commodities market but also a $1.8 billion tax fine in January which amounted to approximately 80% of its market value.
Citing a reduced profit outlook, the firm suspended Chile operations in March after investing $224 million on iron-ore mines in the country’s northern region.
But that’s not all. Earlier this week Batista tried to reduce his company’s debt burden by selling 1.54% of shares of his oil division, OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações. Although the billionaire plans to retain controlling shares, he will sell at least another 5% this year, Reuters reports.
That may not be enough however: According to one report OGX could run out of money to pay debtors in four weeks. On Friday the company lost 40% on the Sao Paulo exchange.
Batista, who once declared he would become the world’s richest man, has seen his fortunes crumble. Between 2011 and 2012 his net worth dropped by nearly $10 billion to $10.6 billion.