* New OGX ‘put’ option adds to Batista spending spree
* Option priced at 36 pct premium to OGX’s Wednesday close
* Billionaire says option reflects confidence in OGX
* Batista may raise OGX stake by about 10 pct under plan (Adds details of option transaction, background on company)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista has offered to buy up to $1 billion of stock in oil company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, which he controls, by early 2014, the company said in a securities filing on Wednesday.
Batista has been on a spending spree this week, buying shares in companies controlled by his privately held EBX group or promising to buy them in the future. His companies, once high-flying startups, have recently plunged in value as investors grew impatient with project delays and missed production targets.
The Rio de Janeiro-based EBX companies also operate in mining, ports, shipbuilding, transport and power generation.
Under the plan, Batista may raise his stake in OGX by about 10 percent based on the current exchange rate and prices set for him to buy shares. His commitment was given to OGX as a “put option,” which allows OGX to sell him the stock whenever it needs capital until the agreement expires on April 30, 2014.
“By granting its option, I underline my confidence in the quality of the company’s technical expertise and its assets as well as in new opportunities that the oil and gas sector offers OGX,” Batista said in OGX’s statement.
Under Brazilian law other investors in OGX have the right to buy shares under the same terms, but are unlikely to do so if the share price is above the current market value, EBX officials said.
Batista agreed to buy the stock at 6.30 reais ($3.11) per share, a 36 percent premium over the stock’s closing price on Wednesday. The funds are to be used to finance expansion as opportunities arise in the oil industry, OGX’s statement said.
OGX fell 7.8 percent to 4.63 reais on Sao Paulo’s BM&FBovespa stock exchange Wednesday and has lost more than two-thirds of its value this year. Investors have been disappointed by lower-than-expected output from the start-up company’s first oil field, which started operations in January.
Earlier on Wednesday, EBX’s shipbuilding arm OSX exercised its option to sell 509 million reais ($251 million) of stock to Batista. Under the plan Batista will also put $1 billion into OSX by the end of March 2014.
That transaction is being carried out under a put option he granted OSX when it sold its first shares to the public in 2010.
OSX’s main customer is OGX, to which it leases an offshore oil platform and plans to build and lease additional vessels, platforms and support vessels.
On Monday, Batista raised his personal stake in EBX’s mining arm, MMX Mineração e Metálicos SA to 46.41 percent of the company’s stock, with the purchase of further 3 percent of its total shares.
$1 = 2.0271 Brazilian reais Reporting by Jeb Blount and Peter Murphy; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Gary Hill and Chris Gallagher