TCREUR_Public/010126.mbx           T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                            E U R O P E

              Friday, January 26, 2001, Vol. 2, No. 19


                             Headlines


B E L G I U M

LERNOUT & HAUSPIE:  KPMG Readies Audit Report for L&H Meeting
NORDIFA LIEGE:  Sioen Industries Set to Acquire Nordifa Assets
SABENA AIRLINES:  Commission to Review Recapitalization Plan
SABENA AIRLINES:  Airline to Focus on European Routes
SABENA AIRLINES:  SAir May Withdraw Sabena Bid


C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C

CKD DOPRAVNI:  Siemens Confirms Interest in CKD


F R A N C E

MONTLAUR:  Case Opens for Montlaur Owner


G E R M A N Y

EM.TV:  Future Still Uncertain for EM.TV
T-ONLINE INTERNATIONAL:  Posts EU125 Million Loss in 2000


N E T H E R L A N D S

LETSBUYIT.COM:  Receives 2.5 Million Pounds Lifeline from Backer
LETSBUYIT.COM:  In a Make or Break Court Hearing


R U S S I A

MEDIA-MOST:  Headquarters Searched on Prosecutor's Warrant


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

APPOLD LTD:  Liquidation Proceedings
BALLAST TRADING:  Liquidation Proceedings
BANC OF AMERICA:  Liquidation Proceedings
CORUS:  Denies Aid Package Claims
ENSIGN MANAGEMENT:  Liquidation Proceedings

EQUITABLE LIFE:  Treasury Supports Equitable Decision
HUNTINGDON LIFE:  Former PM Major Contributes to Save Huntingdon
INTERSAVER:  Ceases Trading
PARTHUS TECHNOLOGIES:  Reports Loss of 14.8 Million Pounds
SCOTIA HOLDINGS:  Regulators Refuse to Approve Foscan

VOYAGERIT.COM:  Posts Pre-tax Loss of 2.4 Million Pounds


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B E L G I U M
=============


LERNOUT & HAUSPIE:  KPMG Readies Audit Report for L&H Meeting
-------------------------------------------------------------
KPMG's audit report on the troubled speech technology company
Lernout & Hauspie would be filed and available to shareholders 15
days before the company's extraordinary general meeting, Reuters
said on Wednesday.

A Commerical Court judge in Ieper, Belgium, ordered L&H to hold
an extraordinary general shareholders meeting by March 1 under
his January 5 ruling granting L&H protection from creditors for
six months.

Last week, the request to extend the deadline was denied by Judge
Michel Handschoewerker until early June.


NORDIFA LIEGE:  Sioen Industries Set to Acquire Nordifa Assets
--------------------------------------------------------------
Textile machinery company Sioen Industries has signed an
agreement with the receivers for bankrupt textiles company
Nordifa SA to acquire the activities and assets of Nordifa Liege,
the January 20 edition of L'Echo said.

The buyer's offer will initially save 50 jobs at the Sclessin
site. It also includes investment plans that may lead to the
creation of further posts in the future.


SABENA AIRLINES:  Commission to Review Recapitalization Plan
------------------------------------------------------------
A recapitalization plan for Sabena Airlines will be evaluated by
the European Commission to determine whether a capital injection
to be provided by the Belgian government is in the form of state
aid, or if it is a normal business transaction by a private
shareholder, M2 Communications said on Wednesday.

According to a European Commission source, the Commission will
likely approve the restructuring deal since SAirGroup will also
provide funding under the plan.

The Belgian government, which owns a 51 percent stake in Sabena,
has agreed to contribute EUR100 million towards Sabena's
recapitalization. SairGroup, which holds a 49 percent in the
airline, will provide EUR150 million.


SABENA AIRLINES:  Airline to Focus on European Routes
-----------------------------------------------------
Loss-making Belgian national airline Sabena needs to scale back
operations and focus on regional European routes in order to
restore profitability, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Sabena is seeking trade union approval of a restructuring plan
under which the shareholders, the Belgian state with 51 percent
and SAirGroup with a 49 percent stake, are to invest 100 million
and 150 million euros, respectively. SairGroup has already said
that the group would not invest further in Sabena if unions did
not accept the restructuring plan.

In addition to the 357 million euros in cost-cuts outlined in the
program, analysts said the airline needs to forego global
ambitions and focus on regional flights feeding traffic to other
major carriers.


SABENA AIRLINES:  SAir May Withdraw Sabena Bid
------------------------------------------
According to Chairman Eric Honegger, SAirGroup won't invest more
in Sabena Airlines unless its labor unions back a reorganization
plan worked out by the Belgian state and SAir, Reuters said on
Tuesday.

Sair, which has a 49 percent stake in Sabena, agreed last weekend
on a recapitalization plan for the loss-making carrier. Unions
have not yet accepted the plan but talks continue.


===========================
C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C
============================

CKD DOPRAVNI:  Siemens Confirms Interest in CKD
-----------------------------------------------
The German electrical engineering concern Siemens confirmed its
interest on Tuesday in the production part of the bankrupt
engineering firm CKD Dopravni systemy (CKD DS) for Kc750 million,
according to the Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) newspaper on Wednesday.

Recently, representatives of Siemens and CKD DS bankruptcy
administrator exchanged definitive draft purchase contracts for
the bankrupt company.

A Czech delegation, headed by Premier Milos Zeman in Munich, also
discussed CKD DS' sale to Siemens. Talks on the takeover of CKD
Dopravni systemy by Siemens continue and some legal aspects still
remain to be resolved.


===========
F R A N C E
===========

MONTLAUR:  Case Opens for Montlaur Owner
----------------------------------------
The case against Michel Montlaur, the former owner of French
retailer Montlaur, and two of the company's former managers, was
due to begin at a Montpellier court on Monday for "using
ruinously expensive methods in aiming to avoid or delay the
receivership procedure".

According to Le Monde's January 23 report, the accused were
charged of setting up a system to falsify the company's figures
between 1987 and 1990, and were also said to have inflated the
amounts of discounts given by suppliers.

In 1991, Montlaur was declared bankrupt and acquired shortly by
Carrefour.


=============
G E R M A N Y
=============

EM.TV:  Future Still Uncertain for EM.TV
----------------------------------------
The supervisory board of EM.TV AG has failed to decide whether or
not to approve a rescue package for the group, making the future
of the media rights group uncertain, according to a Handelsblatt
report on Wednesday. The deal entails selling a 16.74 percent
stake to media giant Kirch Gruppe.

The head of EM.TV's supervisory board, Nickolaus Becker, is
believed to be behind the near collapse of talks between the two
groups.

Becker, a former employee of Kirch, has been working closely with
media entrepreneur Herbert Kloiber on finding an alternative
rescue plan for EM.TV that does not feature Kirch. Kloiber has
also said that he is keen to prevent an investment by Kirch in
EM.TV.


T-ONLINE INTERNATIONAL:  Posts EU125 Million Loss in 2000
---------------------------------------------------------
T-Online International AG, Europe's largest Internet service
provider, has posted a full-year loss of before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization of 125 million euros ($117 million)
from an Ebitda of 17.6 million euros in the previous year,
Bloomberg in its January 24 edition said.

The company, which also reported losses during the previous 12
months, added that the 2000 loss doesn't include a 39.2 million
euro gain from a stake sale in Comdirect Bank AG.


=====================
N E T H E R L A N D S
=====================

LETSBUYIT.COM:  Receives 2.5 Million Pounds Lifeline from Backer
----------------------------------------------------------------
Debt-ridden Internet retailer Letsbuyit.com yesterday secured 4
million (2.5 million pounds) in financial guarantees from an
unnamed backer. The move came as a Dutch court was due to
consider a bankruptcy filing.

In yesterday's report, The Times said that the emergency funding
could help Letsbuyit.com postpone a move to force the company
into liquidation.


LETSBUYIT.COM:  In a Make or Break Court Hearing
------------------------------------------------
John Palmer, the founder of Internet co-buying firm
Letsbuyit.com, had a January 24 deadline to commit 4 million
euros ($3.8 million) to the company's trustees, otherwise the
firm would certainly sell off its assets to interested parties,
Newbytes reported.

At last Friday's bankruptcy application court hearing, the judge
made the 4 million requirement, along with a second requirement
of 28 million euros ($26.5 million) to be produced by February 8.

Meanwhile, Palmer has been reported to be continuing discussions
with third parties regarding a possible cash infusion or takeover
by a "white knight" partner.

A spokesperson for the Van Doorne law firm, the company's
trustee, said that Letsbuyit.com's liabilities as of earlier this
month were around 20 million euros ($19 million), with the
largest creditor being U.S. technology support firm, Sykes.


===========
R U S S I A
===========

MEDIA-MOST:  Headquarters Searched on Prosecutor's Warrant
----------------------------------------------------------
A team of investigators from the prosecutor-general's office,
accompanied by sixteen FSB federal security service agents, made
another search at Media-Most's headquarters on Wednesday, Itar-
Tass reports. They searched and confiscated financial documents
in the finance and legal departments and in the translators'
bureau.

According to Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, financial
inspections of Media-Most continued in connection with a criminal
case opened against the head of the group, Vladimir Gusinsky.

Meanwhile, Media-Most spokesman Dmitry Astaljsky told Tass that
the company sees no point in making any more searches because all
the necessary documents have already been taken by investigators
over the past six months.


===========================
U N I T E D   K I N G D O M
===========================

APPOLD LTD:  Liquidation Proceedings
------------------------------------
Company Name:   Appold Ltd
Previous Name:   Security Pacific Hoare Govett Ltd
Company No:   1880768
Com. Business:   Banking
Appointed on:   29/12/00
Type:   Members
Appointed by:   Members
Liquidators:   Richard V Setchim
IPno: 6710  Ian C Oakley Smith  2000
Firm Name:   PricewaterhouseCoopers
Address:   Plumtree Court
City Postcode:   London  EC4A 4HT


BALLAST TRADING:  Liquidation Proceedings
-----------------------------------------
Company Name:   Ballast Trading Ltd
Company No:   169870
Com. Business:   Investment Co
Appointed on:   29/12/00
Type:   Members
Appointed by:   Members
Liquidators:   Guy C Harrison
IPno: 8001
Firm Name:   Crane & Partners
Address:   Rutland House  44 Masons Hill
City Postcode:   Bromley  BR2 9EQ


BANC OF AMERICA:  Liquidation Proceedings
-----------------------------------------
Company Name:   Banc of America Securities Ltd
Previous Name:   Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities
Company No:   2782373
Com. Business:   Banking
Appointed on:   29/12/00
Type:   Members
Appointed by:   Members
Liquidators:   Richard V Setchim
IPno: 6710  Ian C Oakley Smith  2000
Firm Name:   PricewaterhouseCoopers
Address:   Plumtree Court
City Postcode:   London  EC4A 4HT


CORUS:  Denies Aid Package Claims
---------------------------------
Corus has denied the claims made in Parliament that it rejected a
financial assistance package designed to keep steelmaking jobs in
the U.K., according to Ananova on January 24.

MPs, representing steel-making constituencies, said they wanted
talks to take place before the company made its final
announcement on factory closures and redundancies.


ENSIGN MANAGEMENT:  Liquidation Proceedings
-------------------------------------------
Company Name:   Ensign Management Services Ltd
Company No:   3230135
Com. Business:   Television Production Management
Appointed on:   02/01/01
Type:   Creditors
Appointed by:   Creditors and Members
Liquidators:   Freddy Khalastchi
IPno: 8752
Firm Name:   Harris Lipman
Address:   2 Mountview Court  310 Friern Barnet Lane
City Postcode:   London  N20 0YZ


EQUITABLE LIFE:  Treasury Supports Equitable Decision
-----------------------------------------------------
The Treasury department has been called into question when it
supported Equitable Life's decision to cut terminal bonuses to
policyholders who took up their right to controversial guaranteed
annuities on retirement, UK-Investment said on Wednesday.

Earlier, UK-iNvest.com revealed that the Financial Services
Authority (FSA), the industry regulator, was aware that Equitable
could be in trouble from as early as 1998. If the government
accepts partial responsibility for the mutual's troubles, it
could open the door to compensation for Equitable policyholders.

The mutual put itself up for sale after a House of Lords ruling
left almost 360,000 of its with-profit fund members with a 1.5
billion pounds debt, to be paid to 90,000 guaranteed annuity
(GAR) policyholders.

As a result of the debt, the mutual has had to pull out of equity
investments and has admitted that its with-profit fund's
performance will suffer as a result.


HUNTINGDON LIFE:  Former PM Major Contributes to Save Huntingdon
----------------------------------------------------------------
Former prime minister John Major played a crucial role in efforts
to save Huntingdon Life Sciences from closure, the Electronic
Telegraph reported on Wednesday. He also asked Lord Younger of
the Royal Bank of Scotland not to push Huntingdon into
bankruptcy.

Major intervened because the animal testing company employs 1,200
people in his constituency. He is understood to have warned
ministers that a collapse would be a big embarrassment for the
Government.

Huntingdon was on the verge of collapse after City institutions
withdrew financial backing in the wake of threats from animal
rights activists.


INTERSAVER:  Ceases Trading
---------------------------
According to David Broughton of Cambridgeshire County Council,
online electrical retailer Intersaver has ceased trading and is
about to appoint receivers, leaving a few hundred customers out
of pocket.

The Intersaver.co.uk website was displaying a message "Store Not
Available" on Tuesday, The Independent said in its report.


PARTHUS TECHNOLOGIES:  Reports Loss of 14.8 Million Pounds
----------------------------------------------------------
Parthus Technologies Plc recorded a pre-tax loss for the year of
14.8 million pounds (2.55 million pounds loss), according to The
Times yesterday.

Parthus develops semiconductor intellectual property, targeting
the emerging mobile commerce of m-Commerce market.


SCOTIA HOLDINGS:  Regulators Refuse to Approve Foscan
-----------------------------------------------------
Scotia Holdings' financial position worsened on Wednesday when
The European Medicines Evaluation Agency refused to approve
Foscan, a treatment for head and neck cancer, The Times said.
Chief executive Robert Dow of Scotia vowed to appeal the EMEA's
decision, but the appeal process takes up to five months.

Dow also admitted that the company has just ten weeks of cash
left. The balance sheet is overshadowed by a 50 million pounds
convertible bond, which profoundly limits the potential for a
rescue rights issue or a trade sale of the company. Dow declined
to give details of refinancing proposals.

Foscan also failed to win approval from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration last year.


VOYAGERIT.COM:  Posts Pre-tax Loss of 2.4 Million Pounds
--------------------------------------------------------
Voyager IT.Com Plc, which acquires or invests in smaller
companies within the information technology sector, announced a
maiden pre-tax loss of 2.4 million pounds, The Times said in its
January 25 edition.

As of January 31, 2000, the company has a negative 0.07 earnings
and no dividend.



S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter -- Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC USA. Lexy Mueller,
Salve M. Mordeno and Cristina Pernites, Editors.

Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

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