Swiss trading giant Glencore and U.S. private equity investor Carlyle Group have teamed up in an attempt to buy Morocco’s only oil refinery, hoping to recoup about $600m in loans they issued to the plant before it went bankrupt, according to Reuters.
The price sought by the government remains up in the air. “Estimates are ranging wildly between $2b to $3.5b with or without debts and overdue taxes,” one of the sources close to the process said, adding that there was no deadline for completing a sale and that a decision was not close.
The 2mb/d refinery fell foul of the global oil price crash. It stopped operating in August 2015 after the government froze the bank accounts of its loss-making operator, Samir, seeking $1.35b in unpaid taxes. If the deal goes through, it would become Glencore’s first oil refinery and allow the plant to restart production, a crucial condition for repaying debts to a wide group of foreign creditors, Zawaya informed.