Now Carlyle turns to ICSID over $400 million SAMIR claim
The tumultuous liquidation of oil refiner SAMIR has thrown up a fresh problem for the government. Already faced with an arbitration case at ICSID brought by the company’s former owner, Saudi-Ethiopian businessman Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi’s Corral group, Morocco now faces another started on August 22 by giant US asset management group Carlyle. As reported by our sister publication, Africa Energy Intelligence (AEI 794), Carlyle is trying desperately to recover a $400 million debt from SAMIR after placing orders with it for oil products which were never delivered. Apart from bidding with Glencore for SAMIR’s assets, an offer which was quickly rejected by a Moroccan court of commerce, Carlyle, which is also battling before the courts in the United States with its insurer, Lloyd’s, is now directly targeting Morocco, which itself is claiming more than €1 billion from Corral.
Carlyle is being represented before ICSID by New York law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which is also assisting it against Lloyd’s. Unless it springs a surprise, Morocco should make use of the services of "Palace’" lawyer Hicham Naciri (Allen & Overy), who is already defending it in the case being brought against it by Corral.