Ex-Billionaire Eike Batista Says He’ll Bounce Back

The Wall Street Journal have an article on Brazilian ex-billionaire Eike Batista who has seen his wealth plummet from tens of billions of dollars to an undetermined amount following the collapse of his empire’s share prices against which substantial loans were raised.

Starting in 2006, Mr. Batista sold shares in a string of interlinking commodities companies he had set up to profit from Brazil’s promise. His OGX oil firm would help find Brazil’s new oil bounty. And it would buy its oil rigs from OSX, a ship builder he took public in 2010. OSX would build its ships at a port facility bigger than Manhattan to be built by LLX. And mining-company MMX would ship raw materials from the port.

Brazil had one of the best performing stock markets in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Eike Batista was selling a fantastic Brazilian growth story and was able to get a substantial amount – over US$10 billion – of loans and equity investments into his group.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out as well as he planned. The Financial Times have had some good coverage of his OGX group’s struggles over the past year and he even appeared on 60 Minutes last year touting Brazil as a new economic success story.

Brazil is a very interesting country. There are definitely a lot of opportunities there for New Zealand firms. But getting on a plane to Rio or Sao Paulo is hard – I hope either of those two cities are a long haul 787-900 Air New Zealand destination sometime in the next decade!