No mundo corporativo você sabe para que lado sua balança está pendendo olhando para o que dizem jornais como o Wall Street Journal. Pois bem, a matéria abaixo publicada num dos blogs sediados no WSJ dá conta que a situação da OG(X) não é das melhores, e que podem piorar. As razões inumeradas pela jornalista Luciana Magalhães incluem problemas técnicos, fluxo de caixa deficiente e uma habilidade limitada de elevar o nível de endividamento da empresa.
E o pior é que Eike Batista vai ter que meter a mão no bolso novamente para tentar dar uma levantada na situação. Do contrário, Eike se arrisca a ver um aumento ainda maior do descrédito já alto, o que poderia ser fatal para a jóia da coroa do Grupo EBX.
De tudo isso se depreende que a situação de Eike é difícil, e decorre de uma série de apostas erradas que ele mesmo fez. E isto não tem nada a ver o que algumas cassandras locais insistem em apontar para "torcida" ou "lobby" do contra. A coisa é simples: não entregou o que prometeu, se complicou.
Brazil OGX’s Funding Options Shrink
By Luciana Magalhaes
Eike Batista Bloomberg News
Technical troubles, poor cash flow and limited ability to add new debt have painted Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista’s flagship oil firm, OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA, into a corner.
Late Tuesday, OGX said technical troubles at the Tubarão Azul oilfield, OGX’s sole source of crude-oil production, caused output in March to fall by nearly one-third, to 8,300 barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE. The company’s ongoing troubles mean that, to fund new investments, OGX needs to hurry to sell stakes in existing assets or exercise a put option to buy $1 billion worth of shares OGX holds with the entrepreneur sooner rather than later, analysts said.
In October 2012, Mr. Batista granted OGX the right to demand the subscription of new OGX shares at a price of 6.30 Brazilian reais ($3.15), almost five times the current share price after the latest production figures sent shares sinking to a fresh all-time low of BRL1.22 Wednesday. The option was granted a few months after the company reported lower-than-expected production levels, which triggered a confidence crisis in the group’s startup companies, with interests that range from oil to mining and logistics.
“Chances of him having to buy the shares are high,” said Marcus Sequeira, an analyst with Deutsche Bank DBK.XE -3.36% in New York. “OGX has had access to $9.4 billion dollars. It could be the time for him to put money in the company,” the analyst added.
Of the total $9.4 billion investments made in OGX so far, $4.1 billion came from the company’s initial public offering, $3.7 billion from the sale of bonds, $1.3 billion from a private placement and $600 million from a bank loan, according to Deutsche.
“He [Mr. Batista] would give the company a vote of confidence by exercising the option,” said Eduardo Rodrigues Machado, a stock analyst at Amaril Franklin brokerage in Belo Horizonte.
OGX is expected to bid for licenses to explore for oil and natural gas at a new auction to be held in mid-May by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP.
“OGX needs to revitalize its portfolio,” said Mr. Sequeira. The analyst said he recently lowered his OGX target price to BRL0.80 per share from BRL2.00 per share on more conservative estimates for recoverable oil from existing fields.
OGX, which has a gross debt position of around BRL8 billion, currently is trying to capitalize itself by selling stakes in oilfields in the Campos Basin to an international firm, mostly likely Malaysian state-run oil-and-gas firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, for $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the put option, which expires on May 1, 2014, depends on OGX not finding more favorable alternatives for its capital needs, as decided by the majority of its independent board members. Both Messieurs. Machado and Sequeira agreed that exercising the option should be a second alternative to selling assets.
The sale of assets is still uncertain and difficulties faced by Mr. Batista’s firms would put the buyers in a position of strength, said Mr. Sequeira.
Mr. Sequeira said OGX has unsuccessfully tried to farm out Campos basin assets in the past. Besides, he added, Brazilian energy giant Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, has also disclosed a divestment program and there is Brazil’s upcoming auction. “There are a lot of assets competing for the buyers attention,” Mr. Sequeira added.
More than 60 companies from 18 different countries have qualified for the ANP auction, including Petrobras and OGX.
OGX shares have lost 90% in the last 12 months, reflecting doubts about the company’s ability to increase production levels. “And no one lost more than him [Mr. Batista],” said Luiz Augusto Pacheco, a portfolio manager at Brazil’s Inva Capital, who sold OGX’s shares he had in a small fund in February. “The main challenge today is to show the market the company is viable,” he added.
Earlier this week, Mr. Batista said on his Twitter account that he, too, is disappointed with OGX’s shares. “I didn’t sell my shares!,” he said in response to one of his followers. “I am as disappointed as you and working to change this reality with a new discipline,” he added.
EBX Group, the holding company for Mr. Batista’s operations, didn’t comment on his views about the put option or the upcoming financial needs ahead of the new auctions.