Explorer Sound Energy hit with $14m Moroccan tax bill
◆ Morocco-focused gas explorer Sound Energy has been hit with a $14m (£11m) tax bill by the country’s authorities, writes Rachel
The Aim-listed company said it was fighting the claim, which followed an audit by tax authorities into its Moroccan subsidiary, covering 2016 to 2018 and connected to licensing changes.
A spokesman said: “The company believes that the assessment arises from a misunderstanding of the historical licensing changes and together with its advisers, will be engaging with the Moroccan Tax Administration to provide clarity and to seek to resolve the misunderstanding.” Sound Energy is the largest onshore operator in Morocco, which imports around 90pc of its oil and gas from Algeria.
It has praised Morocco’s “supportive government, with a desire to promote gas demand in-country”.
The firm is led by Graham Lyon as executive chairman, while Mohammed Seghiri, formerly managing director in Morocco, was recently promoted to chief operating officer. It raised £1.3m in equity in January and has been cutting costs, amid some disappointing exploration results last year.
Its shares fell by more than a fifth yesterday to close at 1.7p.