In a wide-ranging interview with Charlie Rose aired Feb. 8 on PBS, Eike Batista, president and CEO of EBX, talked about Brazil’s booming oil business. He also presented his views on the reasons behind Brazil’s current success and discussed politics in South America, as well as major trends in international economy.
Last year, Batista was co-chairman, along with ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, of a dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York in honor of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. At the occasion, President Lula was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. The ceremony was hosted by the Brazil Institute of the Wilson Center.
Batista was born in November 1956 in the state of Minas Gerais. He lived part of his childhood in England. In his early teens, Batista moved to Geneva, Düsseldorf and Brussels with his family. His father, Eliezer Batista, built CVRD and is a legend in Brazil. In 1974, Batista entered the Metallurgical Engineering course at the University of Aachen. While still a student, he sold door-to-door insurance policies to earn his own living.
After graduating, he returned to Brazil in the eighties and went into business in the diamond and gold sector. A speaker of five languages – Portuguese, German, English, French and Spanish – he worked as an intermediary between producers in Amazonia and buyers in the large centers in Brazil in Europe. During the same decade, he set up the first mechanized alluvial gold plant in Amazonia and became the top executive of Canadian company TVX Gold – a company that is listed on the Canadian stock market and which led to the start of his relation with the global capital markets. The nineties were marked by the diversification of business interests and the move into other continents.
From 2000 onwards, Batista focused his attention on Brazil’s demand for natural resources and infrastructure. Between 2004 and 2008, he set up, structured and opened the capital of corporations MMX (mining), MPX (energy), OGX (oil) and LLX (logistics), raising the record amount of US$ 7.1 billion from both Brazilian and foreign investors.
Batista chairs the EBX Investimentos and the council of each of the four publicly traded company in the group. In parallel to these activities, the group has projects in other areas, such as real estate, entertainment and social, and search new opportunities to generate wealth and value for its shareholders, society and country. Capacity of creation, implementation and development of new projects of ventures are the trademarks of the actions of the EBX Group, based in Rio.