FILE – In this April 7, 2009 file photo, Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista attends a ceremony in which Batista donated about $4.5 U.S. million dollars for the the Rio 2016 Olympic games bid, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The oil company of Brazil’s one-time richest man Eike Batista has filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes, File)
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The oil company of Brazil’s one-time richest man filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, marking a humbling blow for Eike Batista, a flamboyant former champion speedboat racer who has been his nation’s biggest economic cheerleader in recent years.
Brazilians and analysts alike struggled to understand the rise and fall of Batista, who largely bankrolled Rio’s winning bid to host the 2016 Olympics, and whether it could be linked to Brazil’s own economic sluggishness of the past three years.
Some said the story of Batista’s failure to deliver on producing offshore oil and resulting inability to obtain more investor credit was a byproduct of bad luck and a toughening overall economic environment.
Others feared it’s just the latest sign that Brazil won’t soon see an end to its economic slide.
“What’s the phrase? When the tide goes out, you can see the man who is not wearing a bathing suit?” said Jefferson Finch, a Latin America analyst with the New York-based consulting firm Eurasia Login to read more