Unknown, foreign bidder sets $3B sights on Morocco’s Only Oil Refiner

An unnamed bidder has set its sights on Morocco’s one and only oil refiner amid growing pressure from creditors, including the North African nation’s own government.

An unnamed bidder has set its sights on Morocco’s one and only oil refiner amid growing pressure from creditors, including the North African nation’s own government.

According to media reports, oil refiner Samir is the target of a $3 billion bid, reportedly far more than the company is said to be worth.

The company is now facing pressure from a number of creditors, including financial institutions, oil traders and the Moroccan government, which is said to be owed $1.3 billion in taxes, bringing its total debt to $3.5 billion. The company’s heavy debt has resulted in a liquidation, opening it up to potential bidders.

It’s unclear why the anonymous bidder, represented by an Italian law firm, would want to take on the company’s debt and lower value, but the company union also pushing for further involvement in the liquidation process. Reuters reported that a union official said it was “waiting for the court’s official announcement of liquidating the company and the beginning of submitting offers [for us to make an offer to] purchase it. We emphasise the need to guarantee our rights and privileges as employees in Samir.”

According to local media reports, there have been no domestic bids received, but rumors have swirled about interest from National Office of Mines and Hydrocarbons earlier this year.

Heavily dependent on energy imports to meet its growing demand, Morocco has spent the last decade exploring new options to help reduce costly oil and coal imports, including supporting new exploration and production efforts, as well as renewable alternatives. In addition to allowing access to a greater variety of global gas prices, Morocco’s LNG plans would help reach its diversification goals by 2020.

Source: Unknown, foreign bidder sets $3B sights on Morocco’s Only Oil Refiner

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