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Brazil' s development bank denies report of offering special financing terms to Batista



BY LUCIANA MAGALHAES

SAO PAULO -- Brazil' s development bank, BNDES, denied a news report Monday that it is offering special terms to embattled billionaire Eike Batista.

"Terms offered to the companies of the EBX group [controlled by Eike Batista] are strictly the same as those offered to other BNDES customers," BNDES said in a statement.

Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo earlier Monday reported that BNDES has agreed to postpone some of EBX' s repayments and that it has eased some requirements on loans given to Mr. Batista, whose group is undergoing a dramatic financial restructuring.

The development bank has also accepted as guarantees for the loans assets that haven' t yet been purchased by the group, the newspaper reported.

BNDES has previously said it has lent more than $4.4 billion to Mr. Batista' s companies, but has also said some of those loans have already been repaid and some of that amount hasn' t yet been disbursed. The development bank hasn' t provided more specific details.

Mr. Batista' s troubles began after oil and gas company OGX, the flagship for his struggling empire, fell well short of its production promises. The company said recently four of its five offshore fields aren' t economically viable.

OGX' s shares have fallen 90% in the last 12 months and its bonds are trading at default levels amid market expectations that the company will soon need to seek a debt restructuring.

Mr. Batista, who raised billions of dollars in the capital market in the last few years, is seeking to sell many assets and renegotiate massive debt in his companies with creditors.


Dow Jones Newswires

07/15/2013

 

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