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Fri 22 Jun 2012 10:20 AM

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Qatar's QIF said to eye stake in Batista's empire

Brazilian billionaire set to sell 49% stake in gold mining unit to Qatar Investment Fund

Qatar's QIF said to eye stake in Batista's empire
Eike Batista, founder of Brazilian conglomerate EBX

Brazil's richest man, Eike Batista, is said to be selling a stake in his AUX gold business to Qatar Investment Fund (QIF), it was reported on Friday.

Billionaire Batista is selling a 49 percent stake in the company which mines in Colombia for about $2bn, Bloomberg reported, citing a person with knowledge of the transaction.

EBX Group Co, Batista’s Rio de Janeiro-based holding company, decided to sell a stake in AUX after shelving plans to take the company public, Bloomberg said.

An EBX official in Rio declined to comment and calls to a London-based public relations firm representing the Qatar fund went unanswered, the newswire added.

The deal would be the latest overseas investment by Qatar after snapping up a luxury retail complex on Paris’s Champs-Elysées boulevard earlier this month.

The Gulf state's investment arm previously bought London department store Harrods for $2.22bn in 2010 while its portfolio also includes stakes in Royal Dutch Shell, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co and Paris St Germain football team.

On Thursday, it was reported that Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company is looking to increase its investments in Brazil, three months after it struck a $2bn deal with Batista.

The Abu Dhabi-backed investment and development is eying large Brazilian companies in order to set up partnerships in the renewable-energy sector, the Wall Street Journal newspaper said.

Bloomberg said Batista’s net worth has climbed 8.7 percent this year to $24.5bn, making him the 13th richest person in the world.

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