Brazil regulator may fine OGX for natural gas unit sale -paper

November 1, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - OGX Petróleo e Gas Participações SA, the oil company controlled by embattled tycoon Eike Batista, might face a penalty because it did not notify Brazilian regulator ANP before the sale of its natural gas unit, ANP's head said in a report in newspaper Valor Economico on Friday.

On Thursday, just a day after filing for bankruptcy protection, OGX agreed to sell its 67 percent stake in the gas unit to São Paulo-based buyout firm Cambuhy Investimentos Ltda and German utility E.ON SE.

The deal was expected to provide OGX with $344 million ($153 million). Without the money, the oil company could run out of cash by the end of 2013.

An OGX spokeswoman could not be reached immediately for comment. On Thursday, OGX said the deal was subject to approval by its creditors, the ANP and the antitrust watchdog Cade.

The gas unit, formally known as OGX Maranhão Petróleo e Gas SA, is its best-performing asset. Some of the oil company's creditors, including asset manager BlackRock Inc and the world's biggest bond investor Pimco, are worried OGX may use cash to fund operations that are not viable rather than repay $3.6 billion in debt.

Batista has been breaking up his Grupo EBX conglomerate, which includes OGX as well as a port operator, a mining firm and energy interests, to pay back debt since shares of his listed companies sank this year due to missed performance targets.