Qatar eyeing $2 billion AUX stake: sources

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Photo – Paul Taggart/Bloomberg

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state’s sovereign fund, is in advanced talks to buy a 49% stake in gold company AUX for about $2 billion, three banking sources said on Monday.

Batista, Brazil’s richest man, said in June that he expected to sell the AUX stake, which owns gold mining rights in Colombia, for about $2 billion by September. The gold company, created in 2010, is part of Batista’s EBX holding company.

One of the sources said that talks between the two parties are in advanced stages and an agreement may be reached as early as this month, declining to be identified as the matter has not been made public.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse is advising Qatar Holding on the transaction, while Brazil’s Itau Unibanco is advising the seller, the sources said.

EBX officials were not immediately available for comment outside business hours in Rio de Janeiro. An email sent by Reuters to Qatar Holding seeking comment remained unanswered.

Brazil’s Veja magazine said on Sunday that Batista will soon announce the sale of a 49% stake in AUX to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

Qatar Holding is a unit of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign fund which has around $100 billion in assets and owns stakes in a wide range of businesses including London’s famed Harrods department store and German car maker Porsche.

The fund also holds a 12% stake in Xstrata which has put it centre stage in Glencore’s battle to take over the London-listed miner.

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