The most-connected man in Brazil

Eike Batista has fans and detractors, but no one doubts his ambition to own a big chunk of Brazil’s infrastructure

Without a doubt Eike Batista, the chairman of EBX Investimentos, enjoys unfair advantages in his pursuit of investment opportunities throughout Brazil. His father was Elicer Batista, the founder of Vale do Rio Doce Company, the mining and logistics giant. He is tight with government officials throughout Brazil and with capital markets decision-makers around the world.

But the younger Batista has become the wealthiest man in Brazil not through inheritance but through companies and projects of his own creation.

And he remains ambitious. According to a source close to Batista’s firm, EBX is currently raising capital for a fund called Brazil Infrastructure Growth Fund. A report in LatinFinance last year pegged the target size of the fund at $10 billion.

Batista told the magazine that the fund will invest in projects tied to companies already owned by EBX, which include logistics, mining, oil and gas and energy generation assets.

Batista has been very successful before in attracting investment capital to his projects. He grew to prominence through a string of successful mining ventures. Then in 2007 he hired away a group of engineers and managers from state oil giant Petrobras and formed OGX, which initially received major backing from the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan and then in 2008 raised some $4 billion through the public market.

Now Batista has set his sights on the energy infrastructure market with EBX. He is clearly not anticipating failure. In a recent interview with US television journalist Charlie Rose, Batista was asked what he thought his net worth might be in 10 years. His answer: “$100 billion”.