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  ONA, SNI merger
Radical shift in strategy
ONA and its parent company SNI, two of the biggest Moroccan conglomerates, have decided to merge. The decision was taken on March 25 during a meeting of their management boards.

As a result of this operation, the two merging companies, along with their subsidiaries, have been delisted from the Casablanca stock market, pending the formation of a new investment holding company.

Is this going to affect the Casablanca stock market? Not at all, say the officials of the two companies, since most of the subsidiaries will be floated again, starting by Centrale laitière, Sothema and Lesieur.

This merger proves a shift in ONA's strategy to have direct management control over its businesses, which operate in a large range of sectors, such as banking, insurance, telecoms, copper mining, supermarkets and dairy products.

This reorganisation will transform the conglomerate into an investment company that gives larger autonomy to its subsidiaries in the management of their affairs, except for some large–scale projects.

Observers stressed that it is a first in Morocco, giving birth to a new kind of companies in Morocco and breathing new life into the ailing Casablanca stock market, in which no single company was listed in 2009.

The two companies thus hired an independent expert to value their shares before delisting. Their main owners will buy out other investors' shares at MAD 1.900 for SNI's and 1.650 for ONA's.

Founded in 1934, ONA is an industrial, financial and services group. It was formerly known as Compagnie Générale de Transport et de Tourisme (CGTT - 1919), and was initially involved in transport, mining, automobile and equipment material.

ONA Group now invests in strategic sectors of activity: mining, agribusiness, distribution, financial services, and growth drivers.

  By CMC
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