E.ON may join Brazil's BNDES to buy Batista's MPX-report

Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:30am EST

* E.ON lacks the financial muscle to buy MPX alone, Valor says

* Valor says E.ON is teaming up with BNDES, funds

* E.ON plans to seal deal next week, Valor reports

SAO PAULO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Germany's E.ON SE plans to team up with a group of Brazilian banks and funds to buy control of Brazil's MPX Energia SA, the energy arm of billionaire Eike Batista's EBX empire, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Wednesday.

E.ON lacks the financial muscle necessary to buy MPX alone, Valor said, without saying how it obtained the information. By teaming up with other partners, the German company could pay 3 billion reais ($1.5 billion) for the stake that Batista has in the company, Valor added.

State-development bank BNDES, through its investment holding company BNDESPar as well as local asset managers Dynamo Gestão de Recursos, Gávea Investimentos and Bradesco Asset Management, could participate in the deal as partners, Valor reported.

E.ON and EBX, the conglomerate that manages Batista's stakes in mining, oil and logistics companies, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for BNDES and BNDESPar in Rio de Janeiro did not immediately respond to calls requesting a comment. Efforts to reach executives at the other funds were unsuccessful.

E.ON already has an 11.7 percent stake in MPX, and the transaction could boost it to about 34 percent, the newspaper said. Executives from the German company are expected to return to Brazil next week to announce the deal, Valor added.

One reason E.ON is not willing to make the purchase on its own may be MPX's 5.4 billion reais debt, which may be more than the company can absorb, Valor said. The German company is seeking to increase its presence in Brazil to compete with France's GDF Suez SA, the newspaper added.