(WSJ) Heavily-indebted Brazilian oil firm OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes (OGXP3.BR) said Thursday it will receive a cash payment of 144m Brazilian reais ($66 million) as one of its units settles a debt, which could allow it to continue operating during its bankruptcy process.
OGX, controlled by former billionaire Eike Batista, filed for judicial recovery in a Rio de Janeiro court on Wednesday.
Brazilian private equity fund Cambuhy Investimentos Ltda and Germany’s E.ON SE (EONGY, EOAN.XE) agreed to invest a total of BRL250 million to buy stakes in OGX Maranhao Petroleo e Gas Ltda, an OGX subsidiary that explores for and produces natural gas in northeastern Brazil, and has a contract to supply gas to a thermoelectric power plant.
Part of the proceeds will be used to allow the natural gas company to continue operations, and another part will be used to settle the BRL144 million debt owed to OGX, to be paid in three installments through January 2015. The first payment of BRL50 million will be made when the deal is closed, the statement said.
The transaction still must be approved by Brazil’s antitrust body CADE and national oil agency ANP.
Cambuhy, a private-equity fund founded by Pedro Moreira Salles, the chairman of Brazil’s giant bank Itau Unibanco Holdings SA (ITUB), will invest BRL200 million for a 36.36% stake in OGX Maranhao. E.ON, which shares control of the electric power utility Eneva SA (ENEV3.BR) with Mr. Batista, will pay BRL50 million for a 9.09% stake.
Eneva’s stake in OGX Maranhao will fall to 18.18% from 33.3%, while OGX’s stake will fall to 36.36% from 66.7%.v
OGX Maranhao has been exploring for and producing natural gas in the Parnaiba Basin since 2009 and 10 wells have been drilled since 2010, according to OGX’s website.