Bidder for Ivorian Cocoa Shipper Is Said to Miss Payment Date

The liquidation of Saf-Cacao, one of Ivory Coast’s biggest cocoa exporters, has stalled after the favored bidder for the company’s assets failed to make a first payment, according to people familiar with the matter. Last month, liquidator Alain Guillemain approved the sale of Saf-Cacao to a unit of Prime Group of Companies in a 170 billion CFA francs ($296 million) deal after considering two final bids for the shipper’s assets, people familiar with the situation said at the time, Bloomberg News reported. Prime, headed by Moroccan national Karim Bouhout, failed to make a payment of 40 billion francs by the Oct. 19 deadline and missed extensions granted after that date, three people familiar with the matter said this week, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The initial payment is required for working capital while most of the remaining 130 billion francs was supposed to be in installments for creditors, said the people. Read more