CORRECTED-Brazil's LLX in advanced talks to refinance Bradesco, BNDES loans
(Corrects amount of loans to be refinanced to 863 million reais, not 1.2 billion reais, in paragraphs 1 and 3)
SAO PAULO Aug 19 (Reuters) - LLX Logística SA is in advanced talks with state development lender BNDES and private-sector bank Banco Bradesco SA to refinance 863 million reais ($360 million) in short-term debt, a key prerequisite of its proposed sale, a spokeswoman for the Brazilian port operator said on Monday.
U.S. investment group EIG Global Energy Partners LLC has an agreement to buy LLX, which was founded and remains under control of tycoon Eike Batista's Grupo EBX. LLX declined to comment on terms of the negotiations between LLX, EIG and Batista, citing several clauses of confidentiality.
LLX owes 518 million reais in principal to BNDES and 345 million reais in principal to Bradesco. While the BNDES loan matures next month, the Bradesco loan comes due in February.
Refinancing the obligations is a condition of EIG Partners' $562 million purchase of a controlling stake in LLX, Folha de São Paulo reported on Monday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation.
"The company is currently negotiating a rollover of those debts," a spokeswoman for Rio de Janeiro-based LLX said in a phone interview. "The status of those talks is advanced."
Bradesco declined to comment, citing banking secrecy rules. Calls to several BNDES representatives in Rio de Janeiro were not answered.
Batista, whose fortune was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the world's seventh-largest last year, is selling assets in his struggle to keep some of the EBX companies afloat, and he is using cash to reduce debt.
In recent weeks, Batista has renegotiated debts with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Co PJSC and local banks Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Bradesco, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
Batista, 56, agreed to cede control of LLX to EIG Partners on Wednesday, one of the biggest steps in the breakup of Grupo EBX. Washington, D.C.-based EIG will invest 1.3 billion reais in LLX, providing enough cash to help finish the Port of Açu.
EIG is interested in buying more assets from Batista, a source familiar with its plans said on Monday. EIG, however, is not actively negotiating with EBX.
Forced by debt woes to dismantle an energy, port and mining empire that had been worth $35 billion last year, Batista is seeking partners or buyers for oil company OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA, iron ore miner MMX Mineração e Metálicos SA, shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA and coal miner CCX Carvão da Colombia SA.
If the LLX deal is approved, EIG will get the assets for a fraction of what they would be worth if the Port of Açu realizes its potential. Companies such as U.S.-based General Electric Co , which builds power plants for offshore oil platforms, and France's Technip, a major offshore oil engineering contractor, have agreed to buy land at the port.
($1 = 2.40 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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