Qatar Holding in talks to buy Eike Batista's gold company AUX for $2 bn: report

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund, is in advanced talks to buy a 49-per cent stake in Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's gold and copper exploration company AUX for about $2 billion, Reuters today reported, citing three banking sources.

Talks are in advanced stages and an agreement may be reached as early as this month, said the report.

In June, Eike Batista, Brazil's richest man, had hired Banco Bradesco BBI SA to sell a stake in his AUX gold business after dropping plans for an initial public offering.

EBX Group Co, Batista's Rio de Janeiro-based holding company, had ruled an IPO because of adverse market conditions and instead started looking for a buyer for AUX, which is worth $5 billion, according to analysts.

AUX is EBX Group's gold, silver and copper mining company founded in 2010 and holds the mineral rights in the California-Vetas region in northern Colombia.

AUX acquired Canadian gold miner Ventana Gold Corp in 2011 for approximately $1.5 billion. Its flagship project is La Bodega mine in the Californian district in the Santander province, about 400km northeast of the country's capital Bogota.