February 22, 2013 / 4:26 PM / 5 years ago

Morocco's SNI sells stakes in dairy, biscuit companies

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The investment vehicle of Morocco’s royal family, SNI, sold a 37.7 percent stake in dairy firm Centrale Laitiere to French partner Danone in a block trade on Friday, traders said.

Danone had agreed to pay 550 million euros ($727.23 million)to take control of Morocco’s top dairy product maker to increase its exposure to North Africa as sales in southern Europe weaken.

SNI also completed the sale of its remaining 50 percent holding in Morocco’s top biscuit maker, Bimo, to Kraft Foods, which had agreed to pay 1.31 billion Moroccan dirhams ($155.37 million) for the stake, Kraft said in a statement on Friday.

SNI has been involved in a raft of sectors spanning insurance to car imports, water and sugar refining.

It is now moving to focus mostly on renewable energy, mining, telecoms and tourism following protests against the monarchy’s broad influence over the economy.

Further sales of banking and sugar interests are expected.

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