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Friday November 1, 2013 MYT 12:15:00 PM
Friday November 1, 2013 MYT 12:52:02 PM
by jonathan watts
Brazilian oil tycoon Eike Batista, who once boasted that he will be the richest man in the world, is going bankrupt. -- EPA/Antonio Lacerda
Company owned by the Brazilian businessman, who boasted he would be the richest man in world, asks for protection from creditors.
The Brazilian owner of an oil company who less than two years ago boasted that he was on course to become the richest man in the world, took the first step in filing for bankruptcy on Oct 30 after one of the most spectacular falls in global corporate history.
Lawyers from Eike Batista’s firm OGX said they had asked a court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to grant them protection from creditors.
The bankruptcy – said to be the biggest ever seen in Latin America – is the latest stage in the rapid break-up of the empire built by Batista, whose wealth was estimated at US$34.2bil (RM106bil) in March 2012.
Back then, his companies were expanding aggressively into offshore oil and gas fields, planning to build the biggest shipyard in the southern hemisphere, and bidding for everything from world cup stadium management to entertainment licenses.
But poor output from OGX’s wells has prompted major investors to pull out of Batista’s companies even more quickly than they rushed in. The share price of OGX has plummeted, and earlier this month the company failed to make an interest payment.
If the court approves the request, OGX will have 60 days to come up with a corporate restructuring plan.
The 56-year-old Batista – a former racing car driver – has already sold off his fleet of six private planes and helicopters, according to local media, and is dismantling his yacht.
Batista’s fall from grace may also have a wider impact on confidence in the economy, which limped along last year with growth of less than 1%. — Guardian News & Media
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