Mubadala and EBX: To X or to X It?
In April 2012, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund invested $2 billion in Brazlian conglomerate, EBX, believing the company to be undervaluing by the public markets. Shortly thereafter, however, EBX and its multiple business lines began to spiral downward. Hani Barhoush and Oscar Fahlgren, members of Mubadala's investment team, were now charged with leading the restructuring efforts on behalf of Mubadala. The situation was exceptionally complex and involved dealing with different creditors, untangling cross-collateral clauses from EBX's subsidiaries' loans, and foreclosing on personal guarantees from Batista. There were also strong political challenges, since most companies operated in tightly regulated markets, some were publicly-traded, and many had received substantial subsidized financing from Brazil's Development Bank (BNDES). Finally, the country's economic and political environments were rapidly deteriorating, with a combination of stagflation, rising interest rates, and successive popular demonstrations causing the gradual loss of governability and ultimate impeachment of President Dilma Vana Rousseff.