Batista’s stake in iron-ore MMX unit receives more bids

1 September 2013 (Last Updated September 1st, 2013 18:30)

MMX Mineracao & Metalicos, a mining firm owned by EBX Group, has received more bids from firms seeking to purchase Brazilian mining magnate Eike Batista’s stake in MMX, which accounts for £448.9m.

EBX

MMX Mineracao & Metalicos, a mining firm owned by EBX Group, has received more bids from firms seeking to purchase Brazilian mining magnate Eike Batista's stake in MMX, which accounts for £448.9m.

The list of bidders currently includes Glencore Xstrata, MRS Logistica, and the Amsterdam-based commodities trader Trafigura and Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development.

The mining magnate is selling his commodities and logistics empire due to increasing debts.

Sudeste, a port being developing by MMX in Rio de Janeiro's Sepetiba Bay, is also being considered for the sale.

According to Bloomberg data, MMX had a total debt of £820m and R$451.3m (£123m) of cash at the end of second quarter.

"This business would bring the first substantial iron ore exposure into the group."

Whitman Howard mining analyst Roger Bade was quoted by Interactive Investor as saying that the business has around $3bn of debts, but any buyer would likely want to leave them with Batista.

"This business would bring the first substantial iron ore exposure into the group, something they have been looking to add for some time," Bade said.

The company expects to begin operations at its Sudeste port and start shipping steel-making materials to Asian markets by the end of 2013.

MMX is the fourth-largest iron-ore producer in Brazil.


Image: MMX is currently the fourth largest iron-ore producer in Brazil. Photo: courtesy of Eurico Zimbres FGEL/UERJ.