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Morocco revives plan to sell stake in port operator

Rabat, December 19, 2013

Morocco's government launched a tender on Thursday seeking advisors for the sale of a minority stake in state-owned port operator Marsa Maroc via an initial public offering on the Casablanca stock exchange.

Marsa Maroc was established in 2006 and manages terminals at nine Moroccan ports and provides logistic services.

The Finance Ministry will open bids on Feb. 2, a statement posted on the Public Procurement website said.

The port operator said it is seeking funds for its expansion, as it plans to bid for two other terminals at Casablanca Port, and the second phase of the Port of Tangiers Tanger Med II.

"We are also seeking African expansion, especially in West Africa and Maghreb. Last year we bid for a terminal in Abidjan Port, but our Asian partner quit before the tender's results announcement," Fatim-Ezzahra Hrar, Marsa Maroc's head of communications said.

"Government advisors will assess the company and would decide the amount to be offered," she said.

However, the government launched a tender seeking advisors for selling part of Marsa Maroc in 2011 but then dropped the idea without explanation.

The company, which has a staff of more than 2,200 employees, had annual revenues of 2 billion dirhams ($243 million) by 2011, the latest available data.

The Moroccan government is seeking funding to build the second phase of the Mediterranean port Tanger Med II. It received a 1.5 billion dirhams loan from the Arab Fund on Wednesday, the first part of financing needs for the project.-Reuters




Tags: Morocco | port |

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