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Tycoon Eike Batista’s Brazilian shipyard company files again for bankruptcy protection

Posted on January 24, 2024

Brazilian shipyard group OSX, the only publicly traded company of the “X” conglomerate that is still controlled by local disgraced entrepreneur and former tycoon Eike Batista, has filed for bankruptcy protection one more time.

Over a decade ago, in November 2013, OSX entered with a bankruptcy filing after oil and gas sister company OGX, its largest client, collapsed and said it would not make new orders for floating production, storage and offloading vessels at the shipyard.

The company eventually emerged from the shadows in late 2020 but on 21 January filed again for bankruptcy protection in a Rio de Janeiro state court with an estimated debt of 7.9 billion reais ($1.6 billion).

In the filing, OSX links the need for a new recovery process to the management of Prumo Logistica, controller of the Acu Port, in which OSX holds a large area.

OSX claimed in the document that Acu Port acted in a “negligent” and “precarious” manner towards the company and that a bankruptcy filing was necessary to prevent “irreversible damage” to the group.

Upstream reached Acu Port for a comment but has not received a response by the time of publication of the article.

OSX sub-leases parts of its area at the Acu Port to third-party companies, but the amount it raises is not enough to cover its obligations with Prumo.

According to the statement, OSX requested the suspension of debts and contractual provisions that cover the early maturity or expedited amortisation of obligations already negotiated.

Furthermore, it wants to interrupt the effects of certain clauses of the management contract signed with Acu Port in order to prospect for new clients.

The company also requested that its main creditors refrain from suspending the provision of services.

OSX once had an ambitious plan to build the largest shipyard in the Americas, with capacity to process 220,000 tonnes of steel per annum, in an area about the size of New York’s Central Park.

The shipyard was meant to cover an area of 3.2 million square metres at Acu and would have featured two quays totalling 2400 metres and a 130-metre by 480-metre dry dock, with a 105-metre high Goliath travelling gantry crane able to lift up to 1600 tonnes.

Thousands of workers flocked to the OSX site at a time the company had contracts to build oil tankers, a flexible pipelaying support vessel and carry out both integration and manufacturing of FPSOs.

However, with the collapse of the “X” empire — as the companies founded by Batista were known — the shipyard fell apart.

The company reported a net loss of 622.5 million reais in the first nine months of 2023.

Founded in 2007, OSX raised nearly $1.6 billion in 2010 in an Initial Public Offering (IPO), which at that time was the seventh-largest in the Sao Paulo stock exchange.

OSX shares are still traded in Brazil but with a very small volume. The stock was down almost 9% on Monday following the announcement on the weekend.

The company has a market capitalisation of just $3 million.


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