Imagine being the seventh richest man in the world then having everything you’ve done taken away from you in a heartbeat – well, that’s precisely what happened to Eike Batista.
Batista was one of seven children and was born in the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil.
His father, Eliezer Batista da Silva, was a successful Brazilian businessman who served as the country’s minister of mines and energy in the 1960s.
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After spending his early childhood in Brazil, Batista went on to his secondary education in Europe but returned at 23.
He then started making fortunes from his father’s mining commodities, which led to him becoming a multimillionaire at the age of 23.
He eventually launched his own gold mining company, which resulted in the creation of EBX group.
By 2002 his net worth was an astounding $20 billion.
This was due to him operating eight gold mines in Canada and Brazil and a silver mine in Chile.
Batista went on to create five more operating companies: MPX in energy, MMX, in mining, LLX in logistics, OGX in petroleum, and OSX for the offshore industry.
All his companies were a huge success, making his net worth rocket to $35 billion by 2012.
Batista’s problems started to arise when his oil and gas business started to go downhill.
The oil production from the areas he had was much less he expected.
This led to investors not wanting to put in their money which made it difficult for the company to pay its debts, while also trying to pay for new developments.
By 2013 the company was in debt by $5.1 billion so they filed for bankruptcy.
Just when you think it couldn’t get worse, it certainly did.
He attempted to cheat his way around a problem to get quick money however, this backfired.
He unloaded some of his stock before OGX went bankrupt, but this caused him to face charges of insider trading for using confidential information for that profit.
Brazil seized all of Batista’s assets, his whole business empire failed and four of his companies went bankrupt in a short period of time.
Worse was to follow as Batista was given a 30-year sentence for bribing the former Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral to try to ensure state government contracts.
He was convicted of paying Cabral $16.6 million in 2018.
He was given a further eight years after being found guilty of market manipulation, but was released from prison after only a few months in 2018.
He remains under house arrest as appeal cases are prepared.
Cabral was found guilty of multiple charges of corruption and is currently serving a prison term of more than 120 years.
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