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Wed 26 Sep 2012 05:15 PM

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Qatar denies talks to take Batista gold firm stake

Qatar Holding says no foundation in reports that it is making acquisition in Brazil's AUX

Qatar denies talks to take Batista gold firm stake
Brazils richest man Eike Batista.

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state's sovereign fund, denied on Wednesday that it was in talks to buy a minority stake in Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's gold company AUX.

"Qatar Holding wishes to make clear that it is not, and has never been, involved in discussions regarding such an acquisition. There is therefore no foundation, past or present, to such speculation," the investment firm said in a statement.

Earlier this week Reuters quoted three banking sources as saying Qatar Holding was in advanced talks to buy a 49 percent stake in AUX for about $2bn.

An agreement might be reached as early as this month, one of the sources said, declining to be identified as the matter had not been made public.

Credit Suisse is advising Qatar Holding on the transaction, while Brazil's Itau Unibanco is advising the seller, the sources said.

Batista, Brazil's richest man, said in June that he expected to sell the AUX stake, which owns gold mining rights in Colombia, for about $2bn by September.

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