Moroccan Investors acquire Wilmar Group’s stake in Cosumar

Global law firm Allen & Overy (A&O) has acted as legal counsel to a consortium of Moroccan institutional investors, comprising MAMDA, CIMR, and RCAR, alongside Sucden Group, in the successful acquisition of Wilmar group’s complete stake in Cosumar. This strategic move involved the purchase of 30.05% of Cosumar’s share capital, valuing the company at approximately USD 1.8 billion. 

The transaction, which has garnered approval from relevant regulatory bodies, including the necessary merger control clearance, marks a significant development in the evolving landscape of Cosumar, a Moroccan company specializing in sugar extraction, refining and packaging.

On this transaction, Clifford Chance provided legal services to Wilmar Group, a prominent agribusiness group listed on the Singapore Exchange, plays a vital role in the complete agricultural commodity business value chain across Asia. Its diverse activities encompass oil palm cultivation, oilseed crushing, flour and rice milling, sugar milling and refining, as well as the manufacturing of consumer products, oleochemicals, biodiesel, and fertilizers.

Notably, this collaboration with Moroccan institutional investors traces back to 2014 when Wilmar, in conjunction with a group of Moroccan institutional investors, including Al Mada (formerly Société Nationale d’Investissement), entered Cosumar’s share capital. Allen & Overy served as legal counsel for Al Mada and the Moroccan institutional investors during this earlier transaction. 

The Advisors

A&O team in Casablanca, led by partners Hicham Naciri (pictured left) and Yassir Ghorbal (pictured center left), played a key role in this transaction, advising all the investors including Sucden. The extended team included Nathalie Zanardo, counsel, and senior associates Lamya KerroumiZineb El Kouhen and Karim Mernissi. Anti-trust advice was provided by Sanaa Lahrouni, associate for the Moroccan aspects, and by Roxane Hicheri and Clémence d’Almeida, senior associates, for the multi-jurisdictional analysis. 

The Clifford Chance team comprised of Mustapha Mourahib (pictured center right), Managing Partner of the Casablanca office and co-head of the firm Africa practice, Gilles Lebreton (pictured right), Partner, Hasnaa Bennani, Senior Associate and Cindy Massala Gouaka, Associate. On the antitrust aspects, the team was composed of Jennifer Storey, Partner and Nhi Nguyen, Associate.