UPDATE 1-Brazil's EBX to raise $2 bln by year-end, Batista says
* Batista may be forced to reduce stake in OSX
* Says EBX to raise $2 billion before year-end
* Batista could sell $2 bln stake in miner AUX
(Rewrites to add details, comments, share performance throughout)
SAO PAULO, Oct. 4 (Reuters) - Eike Batista, Brazil's richest man, said his energy, mining and shipbuilding conglomerate EBX will raise $2 billion by the end of the year, without specifying the means.
In a presentation to executives at a technology industry event in SÃ£o Paulo, Batista said EBX's cash holdings - currently at $9 billion - could get an additional injection of cash by year-end. He did not say where that money would come from.
Later, speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the event, Batista likened the transaction to a "chocolate surprise." He made the comment after reporters asked him whether the cash would be payment for a sale of AUX, his gold mining company.
Reuters reported on Sept. 24 that Batista was close to selling 49 percent of AUX to Qatar Holding , the investment arm of Qatar's sovereign investment fund. Three banking sources told Reuters at the time that the sale would be valued at about $2 billion.
Well renowned for his abilities as a salesman, Batista sold a nearly 1 percent stake in EBX to Abu Dhabi Investment Co
and General Electric for $300 million in May. The deal valued the unlisted holding company at about $38 billion at the time.
Batista is Brazil's wealthiest man, according to Forbes Magazine, which in March valued his fortune at about $30 billion. A rout in the value of some of his listed companies undercut his wealth by almost $5 billion since then, according to Thomson Reuters calculations.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines the event, Batista said he is pondering what to do with his stake in OSX Brasil
as the deadline looms for the shipbuilder to sell shares to him. If the company exercises such option, Batista risks surpassing a 75 percent-ownership threshold agreed upon between the stock exchange and OSX at the time of the latter's listing.
Under terms of the option, Batista would have to buy the shares at a price of 32 reais each next March. OSX fell 0.2 percent to 12 reais on Thursday.
Asked whether the option might force him to reduce his stake in OSX to avert surpassing that ownership limit, Batista said "Well, I have to see. Maybe reduce it, right?"
And added that he "might have to figure out a strategic sale, a second or third auction, I don't know yet."
Batista also denied recent reports in the media that he might have agreed to merge OSX into Sete Brasil, a shipbuilder controlled by a group of partners including local investment bank BTG Pactual Group , in exchange for a stake.
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Brad Haynes; Writing by Jeb Blount; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, M.D. Golan and Lisa Shumaker)
Keywords: EBX BATISTA/CASH