(By Balachander) U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) will invest $300 million in Brazilian business group EBX, opening up more opportunities in key resource-rich areas of the world.
GE will buy a 0.8 percent preferred equity stake in Centennial Asset Brazilian Equity LLC and other offshore holding companies of EBX, which is owned by Brazil's richest man Eike Batista.
GE's has been supplying turbines and power plant equipment for the EBX Group companies in oil and gas, power generation and mining industries. EBX is comprised of five companies including those whose business is oil (OGX), energy (MPX), logistics (LLX), mining (MMX) and the offshore industry (OSX).
Batista, who owns controlling interests in oil, natural gas, utilities and shipping companies, is seeking to expand into industries from precious metals to real estate, sports and entertainment.
Batista's net worth has jumped 21 percent to $27.3 billion in 2012, making him the world's ninth richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index daily ranking.
EBX had said it will invest $50 billion over the next 10 years in Brazil. Between 2011 and 2012, EBX is investing $15.5 billion mainly in infrastructure and natural resources sectors.
The proceeds will be used to further enhance EBX's solid capital structure and also help finance Batista's pipeline of future investment opportunities, GE said in a statement on Thursday.
The Brazilian group operates in strategic areas in Brazil, Colombia and Chile.
In April, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Company took a 5.63 percent stake worth $2 billion in EBX.