May 12, 2012 / 4:01 PM / 5 years ago

Brazil's Batista to sell $1 bln stake in EBX group

* Stake sale follows $2 billion slice sold late March

* Buyers are unnamed U.S. and Asian groups

* Group capital-hungry with many projects at early stage

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista plans to sell a stake worth up to $1 billion in his EBX investment holding company which has assets in energy, mining and engineering firms, to two foreign investors, the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said on Saturday.

Batista said he hoped to conclude the sale in around two months to a U.S. and an Asian-based group which he did not name, equating in total to a 2.8 percent stake in EBX. The sale will boost the conglomerate’s capital as it spends heavily in projects spanning oil, ports, shipyards, mines and electricity.

The report did not give any further details about the transaction.

The deal comes after Batista sold a $2 billion stake in EBX to the Abu Dhabi government’s investment vehicle, Mubadala at the end of March, that group’s biggest single investment in Latin America.

Batista announced the stake sale on Friday at an event at which the group’s entertainment arm, IMX, announced it would buy 50 percent of the ‘Rock in Rio’ brand, a Brazilian music festival which began in the 1980s and has spread to Europe.

The stake sale comes on top of investments made in the group by a string of international partners, including Germany’s E.ON , Portugal’s EDP and General Electric showing confidence in Batista’s projects, most of which are still in start-up stages.

Shares in the group’s iron ore miner MMX rose 2 percent on Friday to 8.19 reais after the company’s chief executive Guilherme Escalhão announced a $2.36 billion investment to complete its Serra Azul iron ore project in the southeastern Brazilian state Minas Gerais. See:

Shares in the group’s oil start-up, OGX, which produced its first oil in late January, ended 0.66 percent lower at the Sao Paulo stock exchange on Friday at 13.59 reais. (Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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