February 20, 2017 / 1:22 PM / 5 months ago

Twenty offers for Moroccan refiner Samir - administrator

2 Min Read

CASABLANCA, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The court-appointed manager of Morocco's oil refiner Samir said on Monday he had received about 20 offers for the company from foreign investors.

The 200,000 barrel a day refinery was shut down in 2015 due to financial difficulties and a court placed the company under administration.

Restarting production will be a prerequisite for investors interested in buying Samir but attempts to do so have been frustrated so far by difficulties in getting crude oil supplies.

Mohamed El-Krimi, the Moroccan court-appointed administrator for Samir, has set March 10 as a deadline for prospective buyers to submit bids.

"There are 20 interested including 18 that are already ready," El-Krimi told reporters in Casablanca's commercial court. "All the interested ones are from foreign nationalities," he said without giving details of the bids.

Investors interested should submit their price with guarantees and a five-year business plan, he said in an announcement published in a daily newspaper.

Court-appointed experts value the company at 21.6 billion dirhams ($2.1 billion).

Samir, in which Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi's Corral Holdings had a 67.26 percent stake, has been battling creditors ranging from oil traders to banks.

The Moroccan government says Samir owes 13 billion dirhams in taxes and its total debt stands at about 44 billion dirhams.

At just under 300,000 barrels per day, Morocco's national petroleum consumption is Africa's fifth highest, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. ($1 = 10.0758 Moroccan dirham) (Reporting by Zakia Abdennebi; editing by David Clarke)

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