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Economy 19/05/2017 16h59

Sale of Samir oil refinery : how about the suitors ?

The Anglo-Swiss multinational trading and mining company, Glencore along with the American private equity investor Carlyle have offered to purchase the Samir oil refinery. According to Global Witness organization, Glencore has a controversial reputation.

Samir oil refinery in Mohammedia./Ph. DR

The Moroccan oil refinery, Samir Group has received an offer from two major companies, namely the Anglo-Swiss multinational trading and mining company Glencore and the American private equity investor Carlyle. The information was published by Reuters indicating that the two major firms are «hoping to recoup about $600 million (£465.2 million) in loans they issued to the plant before it went bankrupt».

A judicial source close to the process told Media24 yesterday that the court in charge of the refinery’s file has rejected Carlyle and Glencore’s joint offer to purchase the bankrupted firm.

Samir oil refinery that has been created in 1959 and in which Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi’s Corral Holdings had a 67.26 % stake, was shut down in August 2015 because of financial difficulties. A court has ruled for the liquidation of the Mohammedia-headquarted company and extended the process afterwards.

Mohamed El Krimi, the court-appointed Samir trustee told Reuters on February that «he received about 20 offers from foreign investors».

Glencore's controversial reputation

Several sources have pointed out the controversial history of the Anglo-Swiss firm headquarted in Baar, Switzerland. It was founded 43 years ago by Mark Rich, a commodities trader that was mostly known for being prosecuted by the United States on federal charges of tax evasion and making suspicious oil deals with Iran.

Glencore was also allegedly involved in a huge scandal related to Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire. In an article published on the 3rd of March 2017 by Global Witness, an international NGO that works on breaking the links between natural resources exploitation, conflict, poverty and corruption, the organization claims that Glencore was involved in a corruption case.

The analysis entitled «Glencore Redirected over $75 million friend of Congolese President Global witness reveals», disclosed the following information : «Between 2013 and 2016 mining giant Glencore paid over $75m to Dan Gertler, a controversial businessman accused of bribing senior officials in Democratic Republic of Congo to advance his mining interests».

Nathaniel Dyer, a campaigner at Global Witness who contributed to the writing of the same article, declared to Yabiladi that Glencore indeed «has a scandalous history» adding that the company has been making payments to Gertler who was accused of corruption and bribery.

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