* E.ON hires Goldman Sachs to look for potential partner
* German utility seeks to distance MPX from Eike Batista
* Companies have no immediately comment on Estado report
SAO PAULO, July 22 Germany's E.ON SE
has hired Goldman Sachs to find potential buyers for embattled
Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's stake in E.ON-controlled
MPX Energia SA, the daily newspaper O Estado de S.
Paulo said on Monday.
Estado, quoting sources familiar with the deal, said E.On
had turned down an offer from France's GDF Suez SA to
buy a significant stake in MPX, a Brazilian power producer.
E.ON sees GDF Suez, which controls power utility Tractebel
Energia SA in Brazil, as a "strong competitor in
other markets," Estado said.
E.ON, Germany's largest utility, has a 36 percent stake in
MPX and is the company's main shareholder.
Batista resigned as MPX chairman earlier this month,
leading investors to speculate that he might dispose of his
remaining 29 percent stake in the company.
Despite Batista's stake, and a shareholder agreement giving
him a say in MPX, the company is now fully controlled by E.ON.
As part of plans to revamp MPX operations, E.ON will change
the name of the Rio de Janeiro-based company to distance its
association with Batista's Grupo EBX. Shares of EBX's six listed
companies have tumbled more than 80 percent this year after the
mining, energy and logistics conglomerate grappled with the
impact of missing project deadlines, a dearth of cash and
E.ON, MPX, GDF Suez and Goldman Sachs Group Inc had
no immediate comment on the Estado report.