Batista to up OSX stake

A-Ok: Batista says he will buy more shares in shipbuilding company

Brazilian businessman Eike Batista, the world's seventh-richest person according to Forbes, said Friday that he will exercise an option to buy up to $1 billion in shares of his shipbuilding and oilfield services company, OSX, in the second half of 2012.

In a conference call with investors, Batista said that the capital increase "will beef up OSX for the new orders that we anticipate," Dow Jones reported.

Batista confirmed comments made to the news wire Thursday by OSX Chief Financial Officer Roberto Monteiro that fresh orders from sister company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes would be a trigger for the capital increase.

OSX's portfolio already includes five FPSOs and two well-head platforms ordered by OGX. Both OSX and OGX are part of Batista's industrial empire.

"I don't want to anticipate numbers [for the new orders], but absolutely," Batista said about the possibility of OGX ordering more production platforms.

OGX's drilling success in the Santos Basin, as well as a desire to increase the company's share of exploration blocks in the Campos Basin are behind the outlook, Batista said.

"The new discovery in Santos is very big," Batista said. In addition, the company is in talks to increase its stake in several Campos Basin blocks, the executive added.

The share purchase will be made in two transactions, with the one-half of the shares purchased in the second half of 2012 and the remaining 50% purchased in March 2013, Batista said. The acquisition will increase Batista's stake in OSX Brasil to between 83% and 84%, up from 78% currently. That puts the company in violation of listing rules for the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange's Novo Mercado, which requires a free-float of 25%.

"We are of course in talks with Bovespa," OSX Brasil's Monteiro said during the conference call. "We are analyzing when we will get back to 75% ownership. These transactions will most likely happen in the future with block trades."

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