Brazilian Billionaire Interested In Entertainment Company Responsible for Bringing UFC Back to Brazil
September 28, 2011
Brazilian billionaire entrepreneur Eike Batista – who has made a good portion of his wealth from resource companies – such as mining, energy, petroleum, logistics, real estate and off-shoring – wants to get involved in the Sports & Entertainment industry, seeking to purchase “Brasil1“, the company responsible for bringing the UFC back to Brazil last month.
Batista, who is listed by Forbes as the 8th richest person in the world in 2011, has many companies under his ownership. Batista’s IMX group – which is a partnership of IMG Worldwide inc. and Batista’s EBX Group Co Ltd – is said to be closing the deal to purchase Brasil1, which is a Sports and Entertainment company specializing in consulting, content development, and major event management.
The purchase was first reported by Veja Magazine, a respected media source in Brazil. UFC Rio was not only a huge success for the UFC, but also for Brasil1 and the city of Rio de Janeiro. The event drew more than 14,000 fans to the HSBC Arena for a gate which is believed to be in excess of $4M. Not only was the event a huge success as a live attending event, but it is also speculated that “Nearly 30 million Brazilians” likely watched UFC 134 from their homes.
Due to the UFC’s 13-year absence and the sports boom in the last few years, their return last month caught the attention of many high profiled figures in the country such as soccer legend Ronaldo and MMA pioneer Royce Gracie. Politician’s including Rio de Janeiro’s governor Sergio Cabral, and a cast of other rich and famous socialites were ringside as well. One of those high profiled figures in attendance was Eike Batista.
Due to the success of UFC Rio, the UFC stated shortly after the event concluded that it would return to Brazil with multiple events in 2012. With Batista’s purchase of Brasil1, it’s no doubt that through IMX and Brasil1, those groups will be involved in future UFC events scheduled for Brazil.
Batista’s IMX group is also getting involved with the upcoming FIFA 2014 World Cup, trying to sell luxury box seats for the event as it negotiates a potential deal with Match Hospitality AG, who has an exclusive contract to sell tickets for FIFA-organized events.