The world of billionaires is a special world. Every weird thing you can think of comes from these people. Not a day goes by without a billionaire headline around the world. But do you know where the interesting part is? The billionaires emerging in developing countries are far more famous than their European counterparts.
From the disappearance of Jack Ma, the great Chinese entrepreneur and founder of Alibaba, to the Saudi prince and his gold-plated Mercedes-Benz with a cheetah behind the wheel; There are always weird stories about the lives of these billionaires; People whose money is even greater than all the money you and I have seen in our lifetime.
However, the story of none of these people is as interesting and influential as the life story of Eike Batista, the great Brazilian capitalist who lost about 99.6% of his fortune in just six months. A man who lost $ 34 billion of his fortune in less than a year and a half.
Once a comrade-in-arms with presidents and ministers, he now lives in prison with dangerous criminals. in this Content Read the life story of Eki Batista, the greatest Brazilian entrepreneur and billionaire.
Escape from the golden years of Eki Batista’s life
In 1981, 25-year-old Eki took out a $ 500,000 loan and started Autram Aurem, a gold trading company. There are rumors that he took advantage of his father’s position as Minister of Mines and Energy in the then Brazilian government. It took less than two years for Eki to make $ 6 million.
The rapid growth of his business in the Amazon region has attracted the attention and interest of other countries. In 1983, Eki partnered with the Canadian company TVX Gold, and two years later became the CEO of the same organization, which was now listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange.
Eki was only 29 years old, and yet he had already created a scene in which his unimaginable abilities to impress investors were displayed. One wanted to be the undisputed king of this scene.
For this reason, even though the CEO of the company had become important to him in the third decade of his life, he was still not satisfied. He wanted to get more attention and shine like a star. So he married a very famous model named Luma de Oliveira.
Their first child was a boy, whom he named Thor, and because he was so fond of the Scandinavian gods, he named his youngest child Balder. Eki also chose a sports career and became the world champion in speedboat rowing.
Apparently, one touches the ground and turns to gold! Coincidentally, for this reason, the police later named one of the investigative operations he had launched on his business activities Midas Touch. Just like King Midas, every path one takes leads to success.
King Midas is one of the Greek kings who, according to mythological legends, asks one of the gods of ancient Greece to give him the power to turn whatever he touches into gold. His wish is fulfilled, but Midas deeply regrets it. Because he even touched food and drink, they became gold, and worse, one day he hugged his daughter, whom he loved dearly, and she too became a statue of gold! It was here that Midas realized what he had done wrong.
In 1998, Eki launched the first of a series of companies that later formed his cluster companies. The company was called AMX and was a wastewater treatment company.
In the same year, Eki’s name appeared on the Brazilian national television network. But this was not because of his business activities or anything else, but because his famous wife, Loma, wore a ribbon around her neck during a carnival parade while wearing a cat costume with a name on it. It looks great!
let’s move on. Subsequent companies founded by Eki include MPX in the thermal energy sector (2001), MMX in the mining and quarrying sector (2005), OGX in the oil and gas sector (2007), and Ellax (LLX). In logistics (2007), REX was in real estate (2008), OSX was in marine equipment and shipbuilding (2009) and SIX was in technology (2011).
All of these companies were managed and controlled by EBX Holding. Almost every company he created had a public offering (IPO), and each offering multiplied his wealth. Instead of having managers to communicate with investors like all other large companies, Eki chose the road-show method, which is one of the most popular marketing tools, and therefore was more in touch with the general public.
Eki’s ability to sell and trade had not been achieved in just a few years. He had been working on developing these abilities for a long time. When he was a student, he was able to finance his studies in Europe by selling insurance contracts from house to house. From the earliest days he knew he had magical skills in sales.
Public Initial Release Madness
One with a voice very similar to that of Matthew McConaughey (famous Hollywood actor and star of Inter Stellar), with his attractive appearance that resembled Hollywood celebrities, with his extraordinary business plans and unparalleled monetization skills, he easily fascinated investors. . He was able to persuade even those who had never invested in the stock market to open an account just to buy his stock.
For those who did not have enough money to invest in his companies, the least they could do was buy his book, The Policy of Brazil’s Largest Entrepreneur.
The famous Brazilian brokerage firm XP Investimentos witnessed an incredible influx of new customers during this period; People who moved from a small-scale investment environment to one of the largest investment companies in the world.
I (author of the article) was an XP broker from 2009 to 2011. The number of people opening accounts to invest in Ekibatista companies was so large that our office worked consecutive days to review the forms. The situation was the same all over Brazil.
After each initial public offering, Eki Batista’s fortune increased. He never stopped. One was a master at using press releases to inform the public about its drilling companies and to update news about those companies that had discovered new oil fields or new contracts signed by logistics companies. There was constant talk of success and profit, and rarely of business-related risks.
I remember our team manager at the brokerage saying:
This OGX is truly extraordinary! Every time they start digging, they finally find something. It will not be long before he becomes a global giant!
But it was not so! Certainly not.
Operation Lava Jato and the decline of the Golden Age
The first prelude to the fall of Eki Batista occurred in March 2012; Just when his son Thor crashed into a cyclist while driving his McLaren SLR.
In the same year, investors’s patience over the performance of his companies was overwhelmed. Ampiox was just accumulating debt and making a loss. The figures shown by OGX for oil extraction were still small, the same company that was the flagship of his cluster company, and for years the press had published overly optimistic news about it.
Eki had no choice but to sell the assets of some companies to make up for the losses of the rest of his companies. But a few months later, he ran into a bigger problem that he could no longer deal with.
The OGX oil fields were of such poor quality that extraction from them was fruitless. So his fortune dropped to almost $ 7 billion in just one day!
The countdown had begun and one was constantly going downhill. Four investigative operations into criminal activity took one under the microscope. As we said, the federal police called one of these operations Midas Touch. Finally, the last hammer that landed on Eki was Operation Carwash or Lava Jato.
I do not know if you have watched Netflix’s “Mechanism” series, but it was Lava Jato’s extensive investigative operation that disgraced Lula, the former president of Brazil, and Sérgio Cabral, the governor of Rio de Janeiro, and sent them to prison. .
The operation was designed to investigate private companies that had established close ties with government officials by paying bribes for public contracts and other benefits. Researchers have found that Eki is one of the bigots who has taken advantage of himself by bribing some politicians. A parallel investigation was conducted into illegal activities, which, surprisingly, found evidence in this regard.
The Brazilian judiciary is acting terribly slowly; Finally, in 2017, the court issued an arrest warrant against Eki Batista, but they could not find him. The former billionaire was a fugitive for a while until he finally surrendered at Rio de Janeiro International Airport.
In January 2017, Eki Batista, with his head shaved like any other prisoner, began his sentence in the Bangu Penitentiary, where thousands of ordinary criminals, from thieves to psychopathic drug lords, are serving their sentences.
This was the end of the reign of the Brazilian billionaire, but one can still hear the desperate cries of small investors who had been deceived by him and his high-profile media coverage and sat on black soil.
What do you think were the drawbacks of Eki Batista? What is the difference between him and billionaires like Warren Buffett who have a slow and steady process of making money? Please share your opinion with us.