RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 28 OGX Petróleo e Gás SA
and OSX Brasil SA, the oil company and the
shipbuilder controlled by Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, will
seek court protection within a couple of weeks, Veja magazine
reported on Saturday without saying how it obtained the
Efforts to reach spokeswomen at OGX and EBX, the parent
company of Batista's crumbling empire, were unsuccessful. A
spokeswoman at OSX did not have an immediate comment on the
Shares of OGX and OSX sank to their lowest level on Friday
as the company, unable to produce as much oil as initially
forecast, rapidly burns cash.
Investors fear that OGX will fail to pay OSX for the use of
a vessel that guarantees a OSX bond. If OGX defaults, OSX
creditors might be forced to seize the vessel to recoup their
OGX owes $3.6 billion to foreign bondholders and $900
million to OSX. In a separate report on Saturday, Folha de
S.Paulo newspaper said the company has already decided not to
pay $45 million in debt interest due next week.
The plunge in the share prices of Batista's companies has
caused his fortune, once Brazil's largest, to shrink
dramatically, limiting his ability to keep financing OGX, a
startup with more investment expenses than revenue.
(Reporting by Walter Brandimarte and Guillermo Parra-Bernal;
editing by Gunna Dickson)