RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 5 Brazilian tycoon Eike
Batista will ask creditors of his debt-strapped oil company OGX
to become shareholders and inject new cash, in a last ditch
attempt to avoid seeking bankruptcy protection, Folha de S.Paulo
newspaper said on Thursday.
The plan will be presented to bondholders of OGX Petróleo e
Gás Participações SA next Tuesday in New York, Folha
said, citing five people involved in the negotiations.
However, an OGX spokeswoman told Reuters it was not true
that the company had scheduled a meeting with bondholders for
next week. She said the company is "in the process of
restructuring" its debts, but gave no details.
About 40 percent of OGX's bonds are held by six large
international groups such as PIMCO and BlackRock funds, while
the remaining 60 percent is divided among dozens of investors.
In mid 2012, OGX's failure to meet production targets
created a downward spiral among several companies of Batista's
EBX Group. The sell-off has reduced the value of most of the six
publicly traded companies in the group by more than 90 percent.
Batista, who has been selling OGX's stock to raise money and
pay debt, will try to convince creditors to convert $3.6 billion
worth of the company's bonds into stock, and to inject an
additional $250 million to $500 million in the business.
The alternative would be to seek court protection that would
allow OGX to halt debt payments until a restructuring plan is
It is not clear how many shares Batista would give
bondholders for participating in the plan. He currently holds a
little over 50 percent of the company after five sales of stock
in the last week.
Creditors will pressure Batista to fulfill his promise to
inject $1 billion into OGX through a "put option" that requires
him to buy OGX stock at 6.30 reais a share by April 30, 2014,
should the company's board think it is needed. Company shares
were down nearly 5 percent Thursday at 0.39 reais.
According to Folha, Batista would give up all of his OGX's
shares to avoid making that cash injection.
PROGRESS IN MMX TALKS
Meanwhile, talks to transfer control of the MMX mining unit
in Batista's struggling commodities empire for up to $1 billion
are entering the final stretch, reported newspaper Estado de S.
Paulo on Thursday, citing unnamed sources close to negotiations.
Bidders for MMX Mineração e Metalicos SA include
Dutch-based trading house Trafigura, London-listed Glencore
and a consortium formed by Abu Dhabi's Mubadala
sovereign wealth fund, according to the newspaper.
Representatives of the companies mentioned in the Estado
report could not immediately be reached for comment.
The deal is likely to mirror stake sales in energy firm MPX
Energia SA and port operator LLX Logistica SA
, in which the companies raised capital through new
share sales without Batista's participation.
Offers range from 2.60 reais to 2.80 reais per new share of
MMX, in a capital increase ranging from $500 million to $1
billion, the newspaper reported. MMX shares closed at 2.20 reais