Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Buys $2B Stake In Empire Of Brazil's Batista

on March 27 2012 11:24 AM
Mubadala Development Company is buying a $2 billion stake in Eike Batista's Brazilian business empire
Brazilian mogul Eike Batista on Tuesday announced the sale a 5.63 percent equity stake in his ESX Group to Abu Dhabi's sovereign-wealth fund for $2 billion. REUTERS

Mubadala Development Corp., the sovereign-wealth fund of Abu Dhabi's government, is buying a $2 billion stake in the holdings of Brazilian magnate Eike Batista -- a move that exposes the Gulf state to the South American country's fast-growing economy.

The investment, Mubadala announced Tuesday, gives the company a 5.63 percent equity interest in Batista's U.S.-based Centennial Asset Brazilian Equity Fund LLC, or Cabef, a holding company that's commonly known as EBX Group.

Batista, who controls his business empire mostly through EBX, plans to use the proceeds of Mubadala's investment to fund new enterprises, including in technology, cement, fertilizers and entertainment.

CEO Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak called the deal an important step in Mubadala's development of strategic opportunities in Brazil and Latin America.

The deal creates a platform and framework for further collaboration between the two organizations, Mubadala and EBX said in their joint statement.

The Financial Times noted that Batista, whose wealth comes mainly from oil and gas assets, often chooses to raise money through strategic alliances such as the one with Mubadala. In January, the Brazilian formed such a relationship with German electricity producer E.On AG (ETR: EOAN), which bought a stake in EBX-owned utility MPX Energia SA.

The oil-rich government of Abu Dhabi has been active recently as well.

The BBC reported that the Gulf emirate is in talks to buy a part of the U.K. government's 82 percent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (LON: RBS). According to Reuters, the discussions over the RBS stake have so far involved members of Abu Dhabi's royal family.

In 2008, the government of Abu Dhabi invested in another British bank, Barclays PLC (LON: BARC), then sold its stake for a profit several months later.