(Corrects name in headline)
RABAT Jan 22 The investment arm of Morocco's
royal family, SNI, sold a 24.5 pct stake in Cosumar S.A.
, its sole sugar supplier, to a group of local
institutional investors, traders said, as it moves to divest
some of its extensive holdings.
Cosumar is the sole operator in Morocco's sugar industry,
and the third-largest sugar producer in Africa with an installed
production capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per year, still not
enough to supply all of the domestic market.
Societe Nationale d'Inestissement (SNI), responding to
protests against the monarchy's broad influence over the
economy, is selling some of its wide range of interests to focus
mostly on energy, mining, telecoms and tourism.
Wednesday's sale was SNI's second in Consumar, reducing its
stake to 9 percent.
"SNI will sell the 9 percent remaining to boost the float,"
Karim Chbani, SNI's investment manager, told Reuters. "The date
for the sale is not set yet."
SNI last year sold 27.5 percent in Cosumar to Singapore's
Wilmar International Ltd and agreed at the time to
sell the second stake to a consortium of Moroccan investors.
Wilmar and the investor group will now control the company
with a 54 percent stake.
SNI sold the investors 1,012,490 shares at 1900 dirhams per
share, or 1.92 billion dirhams ($232 million) total, in the
block market of the Casablanca stock exchange.
"More than seven investors participated in the deal," one
trader told Reuters.
Cosumar shares were steady at 1900 dirhams after the
($1 = 8.2761 Moroccan dirhams)
(Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; editing by Jane Baird)