TCREUR_Public/031029.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

          Wednesday, October 29, 2003, Vol. 4, No. 214


                            Headlines


C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C

VITKOVICE HOLDING: Figures for Last Three Quarters in Red


F R A N C E

SCOR SA: Axa Declines Participation in Reinsurer's Restructuring
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Lagardere Tipped to Sell Most of VUP


G E R M A N Y

HVB GROUP: Analysts Peg Q3 Profit Within EUR100 Million Range
HVB GROUP: Complete Recovery Remains to be Seen
MANNESMANN AG: Prosecutors to Expand Team Handling Buyout Case
WESTLB AG: Lazard Eyes U.K. Brokerage Arm


H U N G A R Y

MALEV RT: Applies for SkyTeam Membership
PANNONPLAST RT: Karsai Expected to Seize Control after EGM


I T A L Y

FIAT SPA: Agrees with GM to Redefine Partnership Pact
FIAT SPA: Deferral of Fiat Auto Put Option Won't Affect Ratings
FIAT SPA: Ratings Unaffected by Put Option Deferral, Says Fitch


N E T H E R L A N D S

KONINKLIJKE AHOLD: Faults Currency Rates for Poor Q3 Sales


N O R W A Y

PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES: Commences Planned Rights Offering
PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES: Conferences on Q3 Results Set Thursday


P O L A N D

POLSKIE HUTY: State Cedes Majority Control to LNM Holdings


R U S S I A

YUKOS OIL: Stocks Plunge as CEO's Arrest Rattles Investors


S W I T Z E R L A N D

ABB LIMITED: EBIT up Due to Operational Improvements, Disposals
ABB LTD.: Issues New Shares, Bonds to Keep Credit line Intact
ABB LTD.: Agrees to Sell Oil, Gas Business for US$975 Million
ABB LTD.: Third Quarter Net Loss Widens to US$279 Million
ABB LTD.: Intends to Lower Debt to US$7.3 Billion by Year's End


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

EDINBURGH FUND: Appoints Aberdeen Asset Executives to Board
HIBERNIA FOODS: Job Security at Teesside Sites Uncertain
IMPERIAL CHEMICALS: Much-awaited Trading Update Due this Week
MACFARLANE GROUP: Sells Packaging Asset to Reduce Losses
MARCONI CORPORATION: Analysts Conference on Results Set Nov. 13

REGUS PLC: Shareholders Approve Reorganization Plan
REUTERS GROUP: Core Third Quarter Revenues Fall 12%
WATERFORD WEDGWOOD: Seeks Due Date Extension on GBP279 Mln Loan


                            *********


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


VITKOVICE HOLDING: Figures for Last Three Quarters in Red
---------------------------------------------------------
Engineering holding company Vitkovice lost CZK212 million on sales of CZK4.8
billion in the first three quarters of the year, company spokeswoman Lenka
Hatlapatkova said, according to Czech Happenings.

The company is plagued by poor performance at its largest unit Vitkovice
Strojirenstvi, which made an operating loss of CZK240 million in the third
quarter.  A.S. Vitkovice showed an operating loss of CZK28 million. Eight
other units reported a combined profit of CZK50 million at end-September.

Because of ongoing dispute with bailout agency CKA, which is expected to
affect full-year bottom line, new owner Lahvarna Ostrava will not disclose
the overall loss of holding company Vitkovice for nine months, according to
spokeswoman Eva Kijonkova.

Gross earnings of Vitkovice for January to September 2002 were CZK5.252
billion on sales of CZK4.661 billion.  The results, however, cannot be
compared with previous year's results because Vitkovice has been operating
as a holding company since last November.  Moreover, it sold some of its
units, such as Vitkovice Steel, Vyzkum a vyvoj and the Atom hotel.


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


SCOR SA: Axa Declines Participation in Reinsurer's Restructuring
----------------------------------------------------------------
SCOR S.A., the French reinsurer that seeks to divest of its life insurance
operations and obtain investors in order to put itself back on an even keel,
lost Axa S.A. as a potential rescuer.

Intesatrade, citing a report by Handelsblatt, said Axa CEO Henri de Castries
has announced the firm will not participate in the rescue of reinsurer SCOR.
He said: "SCOR is a reinsurance partner for us, but we won't participate in
the restructuring of its capital."

SCOR, whose ratings have been downgraded by A.M. Best following
deterioration in the reinsurer's risk-adjusted capitalization, announced
plans to sell SCOR Vie as a defining strategic step for its future.

Last month, A.M. Best Co. downgraded the financial strength rating of SCOR
and its guaranteed subsidiaries to B++ from A-;  it also downgraded the
ratings on debt instruments issued or guaranteed by SCOR.  A.M. Best said:
"The rating action follows deterioration in SCOR's risk-adjusted
capitalization as a result of slower than anticipated improvement in
performance despite the positive action taken to curtail underwriting in
certain areas."

Recently, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services also placed the long-term
ratings of SCOR and its subsidiaries on CreditWatch with developing
implications.


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Lagardere Tipped to Sell Most of VUP
-------------------------------------------------------
Lagardere Group Chairman Arnaud Lagardere has reportedly told the European
Union Commission he only intends to keep two publishing houses from the
assets of Vivendi Universal Publishing, says Dow Jones, citing company
sources.

The move could address concerns of regulators -- which still need to approve
the company's purchase of Vivendi Universal Publishing -- regarding the
distribution aspect of the deal, the report said.  Under the plan, Lagardere
will retain the French dictionary publisher Larousse and Spanish publishing
house Anaya, fold the publishing houses into its publishing arm Hachete
Livres, and sell the rest of Vivendi Universal publishing assets in one
block.  The company, though, has not yet found a serious buyer for the
assets.  The company last week declined to comment on speculation about its
asset sale plans ahead of the Commission's decision regarding the proposed
takeover.

Lagardere's proposed takeover of Vivendi Universal Publishing met widespread
opposition from competitors and booksellers who fear the merged entity would
stifle competition.  It is thought that the Commission might require
Lagardere to sell off assets to assuage these concerns.


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


HVB GROUP: Analysts Peg Q3 Profit Within EUR100 Million Range
-------------------------------------------------------------
German bank HVB Group is expected on Wednesday to report its first profit in
more than a year, mainly due to asset sales according to Bloomberg.

A survey of thirteen analysts put the expected third-quarter net income of
HVB at EUR107 million (US$126 million) on the average.  This was after a
EUR250 million gain from the sale of Norisbank unit to DZ Bank in July, they
said.

Chief Executive Officer Dieter Rampl was able to dispose US$3.4 billion of
assets, including part of HVB's Austrian unit, the commercial real estate
division, a Swiss private-banking unit and Hamburg-based Norisbank.  A
spin-off of its EUR170 billion-commercial real estate business earlier this
month cut the bank's total assets by about a fourth.  Germany's
second-biggest bank by assets is also selling Frankfurt-based private bank
BethmannMaffei and 56% of German brewer Brau & Brunnen AG.

The asset sales are expected to help HVB solve a EUR1.7 billion-financial
gap, and protect its credit ratings from further downgrade.


HVB GROUP: Complete Recovery Remains to be Seen
-----------------------------------------------
HVB Group may have returned to profit by now, but the challenge for Chief
Executive Officer Dieter Rampl to completely revive the German bank's
operation is far from over.

HVB is expected on Wednesday to report a profit of EUR107 million (US$126
million), according to the average forecast of 13 analysts surveyed by
Bloomberg News.  But HVB's domestic unit, accounting for two-thirds of
earnings, will probably show a loss, the survey said.

Dieter Rauscher, who helps manage the equivalent of US$19 billion at Bayern
Invest in Munich, said: "...[T]he more difficult tasks are still ahead... He
has to show the bank can make money in its main operating business."

HVB recorded loss of EUR202 million in the year-ago period.  This was mainly
due to a significant first half loss of its German consumer unit.

"Rampl needs to turn around the German business and improve its
profitability," said Ralph Lau, who helps manage the equivalent of US$3.5
billion at Helaba Invest in Frankfurt, according to the report.

The German business had a negative return on equity of 1.6% in the first six
months, compared with 14% at Deutsche Bank's private clients and fund
business.


MANNESMANN AG: Prosecutors to Expand Team Handling Buyout Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The German prosecutors office plans to increase the number of justices
handling the trial of former Mannesmann AG directors, Die Welt has learned
from unidentified people close to the state justice ministry, according to
Bloomberg.

The prosecutors' team currently has only two members, Johannes Puls and
Lothar Schoeter, in contrast to the pool of 30 lawyers representing the
defendants.  The hearing for the case is set to start January and is
expected to run for five months.  It stands to see Deutsche Bank AG Chief
Executive Officer Josef Ackermann and five other former directors and
employees of Mannesmann defend themselves against accusations over their
role in a US$66 million payout related to Vodafone Group Plc's US$154
billion takeover of the mobile-phone company more than three years ago.

Mr. Ackermann, former IG Metall union head Klaus Zwickel, former works
council head Juergen Ladberg and the supervisory board's ex-chairman Joachim
Funk are accused of aggravated breach of trust.  Former Mannesmann CEO Klaus
Esser and a former employee are charged with aiding and abetting the
suspected breach of trust.  All of the defendants are contesting the
charges.


WESTLB AG: Lazard Eyes U.K. Brokerage Arm
-----------------------------------------
Investment bank Lazard is interested in buying Panmure, the U.K. broking arm
being sold by German state bank, WestLB, industry sources told Reuters.

WestLB is currently selling assets to return to profitability after a EUR1.7
billion- loss last year.  The loss was mainly due to writedowns on
refinancing provided to U.K. television rental company BoxClever.  It is
selling its broking arm, Panmure, at around GBP50 million in a deal that
could involve any potential buyer taking on GBP40 million in debt, and
paying GBP10 million in cash.

Aside from Lazard, other interested parties in the business include
investment banks Bridgepoint and Durlacher, according to the report.  A
spokeswoman from Lazard declined to comment, the report said.

Panmure specializes in brokerage, corporate finance, equities research and
trading in small-to-mid-cap U.K. companies.


=============
H U N G A R Y
=============


MALEV RT: Applies for SkyTeam Membership
----------------------------------------
Malev Rt, the Hungarian airline that reported losses amounting to HUF2.78
billion (EUR10.9 million) in 2002, is reportedly in talks about joining
global airline alliance, SkyTeam, as an associate member, Intesatrade said,
citing Nepszabadsag.

Marcela Pickova, spokeswoman of the Czech national airlines Ceske Aerolinie
AS, said the Hungarian airline is expected to join the alliance in April,
but not as a full member.  "Current talks focus on what the associate
membership will entail for Malev," Ms. Pickova was quoted by the news agency
as saying.

CSA, a SkyTeam member, is a rival of Malev in CEE; as such Nepszabadsag said
the Hungarian airline's membership will hinge on CSA's interests.  The
alliance is part of Malev's long-term strategy after failing to join the
OneWorld and Star Alliance.


PANNONPLAST RT: Karsai Expected to Seize Control after EGM
----------------------------------------------------------
The extraordinary general meeting of Pannonplast Rt on November 3 is set to
lift a rule in the company's charter that prevents any single shareholder
from exercising more than 12.5% of voting rights.

The cancellation of the provision could pave the way for the hostile
takeover of the troubled plastics maker, analysts say, according to Budapest
Business Journal.

"I think the market would welcome the raising of the 12.5% voting right
limit, and feels that Karsai Holding Rt could be the winner of any takeover
attempt," Szabolcs Szikszai, equity analyst at Takarek Broker Rt said.

Karsai Holding, a 12.7% owner, could acquire the holdings of Britton Capital
& Consulting Kft, which decided to sell its 12.12% stake early in the month.
Britton is selling the shares due to legal uncertainties.

The State Financial Institutions Supervision in early summer questioned the
circumstances by which Britton's delegates were elected to Pannonplast's
board at an annual general meeting on April 30 this year.  Representatives
of Karsai Holding were excluded from the board, raising suspicions there
might be transactions done beyond shareholders knowledge.

It is particularly thought that Britton and Pevdi acquired their stakes in
an illegal manner, as Britton's subsidiary, Kartonpack Rt, had acted in
concert with Pevdi in the purchase of Pannonplast shares.

Further, Peter Tordai, head of research at K&H Equities Rt, said
Pannonplast's profitability and debt level is also a source of concern.
According to him, the company's troubles stem from poor global economic
environment and the appearance of competitors to Pannonplast's hitherto
monopolistic plastic pipe division.


=========
I T A L Y
=========


FIAT SPA: Agrees with GM to Redefine Partnership Pact
-----------------------------------------------------
Fiat and General Motors have reached an agreement to reexamine its
partnership deal, including the put option that entitles Fiat to sell Fiat
Auto to General Motors in 2004.  In a press statement, Fiat SpA explained
this development, thus:

The agreements signed by Fiat and General Motors are very important since
they address a subject, the put option, which has recently received great
attention by the financial community and the media.  At the same time, they
pave the way for an in-depth analysis of the development of the strategic
alliance between the two Groups.

The relationships between the two Groups became clearer after the position
recently undertaken by General Motors: General Motors has in fact expressed
doubts concerning the possibility for Fiat to exercise the put, while we
regard this option as absolutely effective.

The agreements reaffirm the strong willingness of the two partners to
continue to develop their current industrial ventures and search new
cooperation opportunities.

Concurrently with the industrial operations, the Groups will enter
discussions to start a review process of the Master Agreement with no
prejudice to the interests of the partners and their stockholders.

We have one year ahead of us to redefine the agreements with General Motors.
This will enable Fiat to bring forward the Relaunch Plan with firm
determination and without uncertainty as for the relationship with our
partner.

The agreements are part of the strategic path we took to implement our
Relaunch Plan, whose major steps include: a focus on the automotive sectors;
the divestiture of non-core operations which have secured, together with the
capital increase, the necessary financial resources; the strengthening of
the Group's and Operating Sectors' management structure and a faster pace in
the introduction of new products which are being extremely well received.


FIAT SPA: Deferral of Fiat Auto Put Option Won't Affect Ratings
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said the postponement, by one year, of
the exercise period during which Italian industrial group Fiat SpA
(BB-/Stable/B) has the right to sell its stake in Fiat Auto Holding B.V. to
General Motors Corporation (BBB/Negative/A-2) has no impact on the ratings
on Fiat.

The put option will be exercisable from 2005 to 2010, instead of 2004 to
2009 previously.

The ratings on Fiat already assumed that the group would not exercise its
put to General Motors on Fiat Auto soon, in view of the group's renewed
commitment to turning around Fiat Auto.  This postponement does not preclude
the possibility for General Motors to contest the enforceability of the put
agreement on legal grounds.


FIAT SPA: Ratings Unaffected by Put Option Deferral, Says Fitch
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirmed Fiat SpA's Senior Unsecured rating at 'BB' and its
Short-term rating at 'B' following the shifting of the Fiat Auto put option
to General Motors Corp. from between January 24, 2004 and July 24, 2009 to
between January 24, 2005 and July 24, 2010.  The Outlook for the Senior
Unsecured rating remains Negative.

The affirmation reflects Fitch's opinion that the postponement of the put
option and the delay of any legal actions related to differing views on the
validity of the put until December 15, 2004 will have no impact on Fiat's
ratings.  Fitch believes that the deferral of the starting date for the put
time frame will not contradict Fiat's intention to use the put option in the
context of a strengthening of co-operation between General Motors and Fiat
in the medium term.

In a joint announcement published by General Motors and Fiat, the two groups
agreed to shift by one year the time frame for the put option, which would
have allowed Fiat to sell the Fiat Auto division to General Motors between
January 24, 2004 and July 24, 2009.  General Motors has recently expressed
doubts concerning Fiat's ability to exercise the put option under the
existing agreement, while Fiat regards this option as fully effective.  The
two companies have agreed not to initiate legal proceedings, if any,
relating to the Master Agreement until December 15, 2004, while preserving
their respective rights.

In a separate statement, issued by Fiat's CEO Giuseppe Morchio, the Italian
group further stated that Fiat will have the year ahead to redefine the
agreements with General Motors.  The two groups now intend to start a review
process of the Master Agreement with no prejudice to the interests of the
partners and their stockholders.

Fitch earlier this year downgraded Fiat's Senior Unsecured rating by one
notch based on the worse than expected operating performance of Fiat Auto
and concerns that this business will remain affected by the adverse
conditions in its main markets.  The Negative Outlook is based on the modest
earnings prospects for the next two years, with the re-launch plan underway,
as well as the substantial execution risk involved in the implementation of
these initiatives.

During this time, Fiat is expected to retain negative net free cash flow
generation.   The cyclical markets in which Fiat operates are undergoing
structural changes and consolidation.  The agency also expects the European
auto market to show little improvement in FY03 due to the weaker economic
environment, which will increase competitive pressure.

Fitch notes that the financial flexibility obtained from the EUR7 billion
disposal proceeds already received during this year, the capital increase,
the mandatory convertible loan arranged with Fiat's banking partners and its
cash holding and c.EUR3.6 billion worth of committed facilities, represents
a weak substitute for strong operational cash flow generation in the medium
term. Fitch views that the successful realization of the restructuring
requires a stabilization of Fiat Auto's competitive position.  A shortfall
of the group's operating performance from the restructuring plan would
trigger another rating review.

Under its re-launch plan, Fiat aims to break even on an operating profit
level in FY04 and return to profitability and positive cash flow generation
in FY05.  The restructuring plan also includes EUR3.1 billion in cost
reductions.  Including these, material and component costs will be cut by
EUR2 billion until FY06.  A program to rationalize production plants
involves the closure of 12 production plants and a headcount reduction of
12,300 employees.  Fiat forecasts that the profitability enhancing measures
would result in a 4.1% return on sales in FY05.  In the meantime Fiat will
continue to be able to access substantial committed bank lines, which will
back its credit profile in the short term.  The group has completed an
equity increase, which resulted in a cash inflow of EUR1.8 billion at the
end of July 2003.  Proceeds from disposals reached the total of EUR7
billion, including the disposal of Fiat Avio, Fidis retail financing
(completed last week) and of Toro Assicurazioni.


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


KONINKLIJKE AHOLD: Faults Currency Rates for Poor Q3 Sales
----------------------------------------------------------
Ahold announced consolidated net sales for the third quarter of the year (12
weeks through October 5, 2003) of EUR13.0 billion, a decline of 7.1%
compared to EUR14.0 billion generated in the 2002 third quarter.  Sales are
significantly impacted by the lower currency exchange rates of in particular
the U.S. Dollar; sales excluding currency impact increased by 2.7%. The
overall impact of acquisitions and divestments on net sales growth in the
third quarter was not material.  The sales numbers presented in this press
release are preliminary and unaudited.

USA - retail

In the United States, net sales of USA retail in USD increased by 3.3% to
USD 6.2 billion (2002: USD 6.0 billion). Comparable sales increased by 1.1%
and identical sales increased by 0.3%.

Europe - retail

In Europe sales rose 0.3% to EUR3.0 billion (2002: EUR3.0 billion).  Lower
sales at Albert Heijn were offset by sales growth at Schuitema, Central
Europe and Spain.

Foodservice

Net sales at U.S. Foodservice increased by 5.9% to USD4.3 billion (2002:
USD4.0 billion), partially achieved by low margin business.  The acquisition
of Allen Foods and Lady Baltimore in December and September of 2002,
respectively, contributed approximately 2% to the sales growth.

South America

In South America sales amounted to EUR511 million (2002: EUR586 million),
down 12.8% compared to last year caused by the disposal of Santa Isabel
Chile in July of 2003.

Asia

In Asia sales declined 28% to EUR78 million (2002: EUR109 million) due to
the sale of most of the assets of Ahold Malaysia and Ahold Indonesia in the
course of the third quarter of 2003.

Outlook 2003

Ahold expects operating income for full-year 2003 to be impacted by
continued pressure on margins, primarily at U.S. Foodservice. Ahold also
expects professional fees of lawyers, accountants and other advisors to be
in excess of EUR100 million in 2003.

Definitions

Identical sales compare sales from exactly the same stores.
Comparable sales are identical sales plus sales from replacement stores.

Currency impact: the impact of using different exchange rates to translate
the financial figures of our subsidiaries to Euros.  The financial figures
of the previous year are restated using the actual exchange rates in order
to eliminate this currency impact.

To See Full Report: http://bankrupt.com/misc/Ahold_3QSales.pdf

CONTACT:  ROYAL AHOLD
          Corporate Communications
          Phone: +31.75.659.57.20


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N O R W A Y
===========


PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES: Commences Planned Rights Offering
---------------------------------------------------------
Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (debtor in possession) (OSE:PGS) (Pink
Sheets:PGOGY) announced the commencement of the rights offering
contemplated under the Company's Modified First Amended Plan of
Reorganization.  The Rights Offering gives holders of at least 23 existing
ordinary shares (including holders of American Depositary Shares
representing ordinary shares the right to purchase additional new ordinary
shares of the reorganized Company.  The subscription price for acquiring new
ordinary shares under the Rights Offering is $14.17 per new share, payable
in U.S. Dollars.

Holders of existing ordinary shares (not ADSs) entitled to receive fewer
than 100 new ordinary shares in the Rights Offering have the option to pay
for these shares in Norwegian Kroners at a fixed exchange rate of NOK7.10
per U.S.$1.00.

The offer period for the Rights Offering is expected to extend
until November 5, 2003, the expected effective date of the Plan.
Eligible shareholders must hold their existing ordinary shares as of the
effective date of the Plan to validly exercise their rights under the Rights
Offering.

For more information on the Rights Offering, visit the company
website, http://www.pgs.com, or contact the information agent,
Georgeson Shareholder Communications, Inc., at 888-274-5146.

Petroleum Geo-Services is a technologically focused oilfield
service company principally involved in geophysical and floating
production services.  PGS provides a broad range of seismic- and
reservoir services, including acquisition, processing,
interpretation, and field evaluation. PGS owns and operates four
floating production, storage and offloading units. PGS operates on a
worldwide basis with headquarters in Oslo, Norway.


PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES: Conferences on Q3 Results Set Thursday
--------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (debtor in possession) (OSE: PGS; OTC: PGOGY)
expects to announce its third quarter 2003 financial results at
approximately 3:30 p.m. Central European Time (CET) (9:30 a.m. Eastern Time)
on Thursday, October 30, 2003.

A press conference will be held in the PGS offices at Lysaker, Oslo Thursday
October 30 at 3:30 p.m. CET.  A presentation will be given to analysts at
4:00 p.m. CET in the same location.  Live audio together with the
presentation will be broadcasted on the PGS web site, starting promptly at
4:00 p.m. CET.  Please go to: http://www.PGS.comand click on the link, at
least 15 minutes before, to register and download and install any necessary
audio software.

Petroleum Geo-Services is a technologically focused oilfield service company
principally involved in geophysical and floating production services.  PGS
provides a broad range of seismic- and reservoir services, including
acquisition, processing, interpretation, and field evaluation.  PGS owns and
operates four floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSO's).
PGS operates on a worldwide basis with headquarters in Oslo, Norway.  For
more information on Petroleum Geo-Services visit http://www.pgs.com.

The Company filed for chapter 11 protection on July 29, 2003 (Bankr.
S.D.N.Y. Case No. 03-14786).  Matthew Allen Feldman, Esq., at Willkie Farr &
Gallagher represents the Debtor in its restructuring efforts.

CONTACT:  Sam R. Morrow
          Svein T. Knudsen
          Phone: +47-67-52-6400

          Suzanne M. McLeod
          Phone: +1 281-589-7935


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P O L A N D
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POLSKIE HUTY: State Cedes Majority Control to LNM Holdings
----------------------------------------------------------
The LNM Group, the world's second largest and most global steel producer,
announced that, following the approval granted by the Council of Ministers
on October 21, 2003, LNM Holdings N.V. has signed a Privatization Agreement
with the Ministry of State Treasury in Poland for the sale of its majority
shareholding in Polskie Huty Stali SA.

As part of the Privatization Agreement, LNM also agreed and signed a Loan
Agreement with Polskie Huty and an Observer Agreement with Polskie Huty and
the Ministry of State Treasury.

Under these agreements, LNM will extend financial assistance to Polskie Huty
of up to PLN300 million, subject to fulfillment of certain conditions, and
will gain access to some agreed information pertaining to Polskie Huty in
order to help monitor operations of Polskie Huty up to closure of the
transaction.

As part of the Privatization Agreement, LNM has committed itself to
implementing its final offer of the social package, made to the Trade Unions
on October 17, 2003 after weeks of intense and hard negotiations.  LNM also
believes that employees will benefit from the improved prospects that it
hopes to bring to Polskie Huty over the long term.

LNM now looks forward to an early completion of the privatization, subject
to regulatory approvals.

Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal, LNM Group Chairman, said: "LNM is delighted to have
signed the Privatization Agreement with the Ministry of State Treasury.
Polskie Huty is a company that has major significance to Poland, its people
and its economy and it is both a great challenge and an honor to be involved
with such a company.

"LNM has successfully turned around a number of underperforming businesses
by improving their internal efficiency and providing access to international
markets, technology and know-how.  We believe that we can bring the same
benefits to Polskie Huty, helping it realize its full potential and become a
pre-eminent producer in Europe and the crown jewel of the Polish steel
industry.  LNM has always believed that our people are our main asset and
the employees of Polskie Huty will be key in helping us to achieve our
goals.  We look forward to achieving this vision for Polskie Huty together."

The LNM Group is the world's second largest steel producer with integrated
steelmaking facilities in 12 countries with estimated annual shipments
forecast to exceed 35 million tons and revenues to exceed US$12 billion in
2003.  The Group, including LNM Holdings N.V. and Ispat International N.V.,
has approximately 120,000 employees worldwide from over 45 nationalities.
Ispat International N.V., is listed on the New York and Amsterdam Stock
Exchanges.

LNM Holdings N.V. has steelmaking interests in Kazakhstan, Romania, Algeria,
Czech Republic and South Africa.  There are substantial synergies from its
relationship with Ispat International N.V, which has highly efficient,
modern steelmaking operations in United States of America, Canada, Mexico,
Trinidad and Tobago, Germany and France that supply highest quality steels
to demanding customer segments.

Through its ownership of Ispat Sidex in Romania and Ispat Nova Hut in the
Czech Republic, LNM Holdings is already the largest steel producer in
Central and Eastern Europe with combined shipments of over 8 million tons of
steel products.  Polskie Huty is the major Polish steel producer and with a
annual output of 6 million tons, accounts for approximately 70% of Polish
steel production.  The company consists of four steel plants; Sendzimir,
Katowice, Florian and Cedler.  It has approximately 15,500 employees.

CONTACT:  THE LNM GROUP
          Paul Weigh
          Corporate Communications
          Phone: +44 20 7543 1172

          MERLIN FINANCIAL
          Tim Blythe/Nicola Davidson
          Phone: +44 20 7606 1244


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


YUKOS OIL: Stocks Plunge as CEO's Arrest Rattles Investors
----------------------------------------------------------
Russian stock market authorities suspended Monday trading of the shares of
Russian oil giant, Yukos, after its value fell by almost a fifth following
the arrest of Chief Executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky over the weekend.

Mr. Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest man, is charged of seven criminal
offenses, including fraud and tax evasion.  He was detained and sent to
Moscow for questioning after secret service men captured him in the Siberian
city of Novosibirsk.  This follows the charging of tax fraud on Yukos'
co-owner, Vasily Shakhnovsky, earlier this month.

Platon Lebedev, another co-owner, was also detained in July.  The Prosecutor
General's Office charged him under four articles of the Russian Criminal
Code: large-scale fraud, causing material damage by way of fraud;
non-compliance with a court judgment and tax evasion.  He is particularly
accused of stealing the government's 20% stake in the company, Apatit, in
1994.

Analysts expect negative repercussions from this latest arrests.


=====================
S W I T Z E R L A N D
=====================


ABB LIMITED: EBIT up Due to Operational Improvements, Disposals
---------------------------------------------------------------
ABB's core divisions, Power Technologies and Automation Technologies,
reported another quarter of improved results, with double-digit growth in
orders and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), plus higher revenues
and operating cash flow.

ABB again successfully lowered costs and increased margins. Operational
improvements, together with divestment gains, lifted the Group's EBIT for
the quarter to US$262 million, an increase of US$348 million compared to the
same period of 2002.  A number of mainly non-cash losses in discontinued
operations led to a net loss of US$279 million.

ABB also signed a preliminary agreement to sell the upstream business in its
Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals division to a consortium of equity investors.

On the back of these developments, ABB announced a broad program to
strengthen its capital and financing structure.  The program comprises a
proposal to issue new shares worth the equivalent of approximately US$2.5
billion, a newly agreed US$1 billion bank credit facility and the launch of
a new bond.

"The good performance of our core divisions and the preliminary agreement to
sell our upstream business are key milestones on the road to sustainable
success," said Jurgen Dormann, ABB chairman and CEO.  "The time has come to
take another decisive step, and that's why we have announced a financial
restructuring program designed to strengthen our balance sheet."

Mr. Dormann said the company maintains its 2005 revenue growth, EBIT margin
and debt targets, but that it has revised the 2003 local currency revenue
growth targets for the core divisions.

"Our operational profitability continues to improve and, thanks to successes
at reducing costs, we are in a good position to tap global economic growth
when it returns," Mr. Dormann said.  "We have picked up profitable market
share in many areas, and the net Group loss in this quarter is due to mainly
non-cash losses in businesses that we are divesting."

To See Full Copy of Financial Results: http://bankrupt.com/misc/ABB_3Q.pdf


ABB LTD.: Issues New Shares, Bonds to Keep Credit line Intact
-------------------------------------------------------------
Following the successful launch of a CHF1 billion convertible bond in August
of this year, the capital strengthening program being announced is intended
to provide a stronger financial base for the future growth of ABB's core
divisions.  It is designed to ensure ABB more flexibility on, among other
issues, the timing of its divestment program.

The first pillar in the program is a proposal to increase equity, for which
the Board of Directors has called an extraordinary general meeting for
November 20, 2003, to seek shareholder approval to issue up to 1.2 billion
new ABB shares.

The proposed share issue will be fully underwritten by a group of banks,
which have agreed to underwrite 960 million shares at a minimum issue price
of CHF3.40 per share.  This represents a 50-percent discount to the closing
share price of CHF6.80 on October 27, 2003, and provides for an amount
equivalent to US$2.5 billion (subject to exchange rates).

Second, ABB has obtained a new, fully committed three-year US$1 billion
credit facility with its banks.  ABB said it does not intend to draw on this
standby facility but that it would provide additional financial flexibility.
It is subject to the successful completion of the capital increase and
certain customary conditions.

Third, the company plans to issue a new bond valued at approximately EUR650
million (about US$750 million).  The timing of the issue depends on
conditions in the financial markets.  The company intends to use proceeds
from the bond to further adjust its debt repayment schedule, aiming for a
stable long-term annual maturity profile.

To See Full Copy of Financial Results: http://bankrupt.com/misc/ABB_3Q.pdf


ABB LTD.: Agrees to Sell Oil, Gas Business for US$975 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
ABB has signed a preliminary agreement to sell most of its upstream business
in the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals division to a private equity consortium
consisting of Candover Partners Limited, JP Morgan Partners LLC and 3i Group
PLC.  The price range is between US$925 million and US$975 million.

The consortium and ABB intend to work diligently towards signing a
definitive sale and purchase agreement.  The documentation and the
consortium's financing arrangements are very well advanced and the
definitive agreement is expected to be signed before the end of 2003.

The timing for signing and completion is subject to the progress of a legal
compliance review, undertaken by ABB together with the consortium.

The review follows ABB's disclosure in the annual Form 20-F filing to the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June 2003 of potentially
improper payments in an African country in connection with the upstream
business.  In its subsequent internal investigations, ABB uncovered a
limited number of additional improper payments in the upstream business in
three countries in Africa, Central Asia, and South America, which ABB has
recently voluntarily disclosed to the U.S. Department of Justice and the
SEC.  ABB is cooperating fully with the U.S. Department of Justice and the
SEC.

The review is being designed to discover whether there are other instances
of non-compliance in the upstream business.

ABB's upstream business has 7,500 employees and had revenues of US$1.7
billion in 2002.  The divestment does not include the mainly downstream ABB
Lummus Global business.

ABB has changed management responsibilities for the upstream and downstream
Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals business and has given Peter Voser, ABB's chief
financial officer, direct management responsibility for the businesses until
divested.  The business area manager for the upstream business, Erik
Fougner, reports to Mr. Voser.  The company also said it has appointed Samir
Brikho, formerly a senior manager at Alstom and earlier at ABB, as business
area manager of ABB Lummus Global -- including the floating production
systems unit in Houston, Texas -- to support Mr. Voser in preparing these
businesses for disposal.

To See Full Copy of Financial Results: http://bankrupt.com/misc/ABB_3Q.pdf


ABB LTD.: Third Quarter Net Loss Widens to US$279 Million
---------------------------------------------------------
Orders from Asia, especially China and India, continued to grow at a
double-digit pace.  Demand was stable or slightly lower in most of Europe
and was weaker in the Americas.  Orders grew in the Middle East.  Service
orders continued to grow strongly.  Product orders were supported by
customers' spending on maintenance, repair and replacement as they continued
to focus on reducing operational expenses.  Capital expenditure on new
plants, systems and equipment remained cautious in most sectors.  Investment
in large power transmission projects continues to be delayed.

The translation of local currency transactions into U.S. dollars for
reporting purposes positively impacted reported orders and revenues by more
than 10% as the U.S. dollar remained weak against the Euro.

Orders received for the core divisions in the third quarter of 2003 grew 18%
to US$4,191 million (up 9% in local currencies).  Group orders amounted to
US$4,413 million, up 4% compared to the same period last year (US$4,240
million) and down 5% in local currencies.  Group orders were affected by
lower orders received in the Building Systems business within Non-core
activities, due to more selective bidding and the divestments of large parts
of the business.

The combined order backlog for the core divisions amounted to US$9,983
million compared to US$10,048 million at the end of the second quarter (down
2% in local currency terms).  The order backlog for the Group at the end of
the third quarter was US$10,262 million, down 5% compared to the second
quarter (US$10,781 million on June 30, 2003) primarily due to divestments of
the Building Systems business in several countries.

Total revenues in the core divisions in the third quarter rose 13% to
US$4,315 million compared to the same quarter a year ago (up 3% in local
currencies).  Group revenues were 7% higher at US$4,798 million (down 4% in
local currencies).  In Non-core activities, revenues were 33% lower, again
reflecting selective bidding in the Building Systems business as well as
Building System disposals in several countries.

EBIT in the core divisions amounted to US$294 million, an increase of 24%
compared to US$238 million in the same period last year.  Group EBIT was
US$262 million, up US$348 million from a loss of US$86 million in the third
quarter of 2002.  Included in Group EBIT is a US$95 million gain on the
divestment of the Building Systems business in the Nordic countries, of
which US$30 million related to asset sales were recorded in Non-core
activities, and US$65 million related to sales of shares was recorded in
Corporate, improving the results in those two areas. Restructuring costs in
the quarter amounted to US$69 million compared to US$51 million in the third
quarter of last year.

The Group EBIT margin in the quarter was 5.5 percent.

Finance net* was negative US$128 million compared to income of US$110
million in the third quarter of 2002.  The higher costs are due primarily to
the mark-to-market treatment of the 2002 convertible bond, which produced a
non-cash expense of US$43 million in the quarter, compared to a non-cash
gain of US$182 million in the third quarter of last year.

* Finance net is the difference between interest and dividend income and
interest and other finance expenses.

Discontinued operations reported a loss of US$343 million, compared to a
loss of US$141 million in the third quarter of 2002.  The negative result
comprises:

(a) A US$195 million net loss in the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals division,
reflecting non-cash provisions in the downstream business of US$108 million
to write down its remaining assets in a refinery project in India (as
described in ABB's 2002 annual report and Form 20-F) that was first started
in 1996 but has not yet received the required financing; US$30 million to
cover cost overruns on a petrochemicals project in the Netherlands; and,
following a recent out-of-court settlement, the non-cash write-down of US$35
million in receivables related to a project dating from 1997.

(b) US$24 million charge on the anticipated sale of ABB Export Bank, which
is subject to the approval of the Swiss Banking Commission.

(c) A total of US$122 million in non-cash expenses related to asbestos,
mainly comprising a US$67 million expense on the mark-to-market increase in
the value of some 30 million ABB Ltd. shares committed to cover part of the
company's asbestos liabilities; and a provision of US$41 million to cover
the net present value of the first two US$25 million asbestos payments,
previously considered contingent.  The payments for 2008 and 2009 remain
contingent.  There is no change to the plan of reorganization or to the
company's total asbestos liability.

ABB's net loss for the third quarter amounted to US$279 million, compared to
a net loss of US$148 million for the same period in 2002.

Cash flow

Net cash from operations for the group improved by US$347 million to US$121
million in the third quarter compared to cash used in the year-earlier
period of US$226 million.  The two core divisions contributed a combined
cash flow in the quarter of US$307 million, up 18% from US$261 million in
the same quarter in 2002.  Cash outflows of US$200 million in the Oil, Gas
and Petrochemicals division were partly offset by positive cash effects of
US$100 million recorded in Corporate and other, including asbestos-related
cash payments of US$56 million.  In addition, US$86 million was used in
Non-core activities, mainly in the Building Systems business.

Cost reduction

ABB achieved savings of about US$190 million in the third quarter (US$420
million for the first nine months of the year) from its business improvement
program, called Step Change.  Introduced in late 2002, the goals of the
program are to increase the competitiveness of ABB's core businesses, reduce
overhead costs and streamline operations by approximately US$900 million
(revised from US$800 million) on an annual basis by 2005.  The Step Change
program is expected to be completed by mid-2004.

Major cost-saving projects implemented in the third quarter include an IT
outsourcing agreement with IBM, factory consolidation in Germany, Italy and
the U.S., as well as supply chain management improvements in a number of
countries.  As a result of the Step Change program, the company reduced
1,800 jobs in the quarter for a total of 5,600 Step Change-related job
reductions so far this year.

As of September 30, 2003, ABB employed 119,900 people, compared to 139,100
at the end of 2002.

Divestments

ABB continued its program of divesting non-core businesses and other assets
and using the proceeds to pay down debt.  The company received cash proceeds
of US$185 million in the third quarter for its Nordic Building Systems
business (primarily Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland).

The company also recorded a charge of US$24 million under discontinued
operations for the anticipated sale of its ABB Export Bank, which is subject
to the approval of the Swiss Banking Commission.

So far this year, disposals of businesses and leasing and other financial
portfolios have generated total cash proceeds of about US$860 million.  With
the announced preliminary agreement to sell parts of the Oil, Gas and
Petrochemicals division and other remaining divestment assets, ABB is on
track to achieve its target of US$2 billion in divestment proceeds.

Balance sheet and debt

Cash and marketable securities at the end of September amounted to US$4,263
million, up from US$4,098 million at the end of the previous quarter.  Total
debt (short-term and long-term borrowings) amounted to US$8,346 million,
compared to US$8,185 million three months earlier.  Total debt includes
about CHF1 billion raised through a seven-year, 3.5-percent convertible bond
that ABB launched at the end of August, and about US$100 million from
application of Financial Accounting Standards Board Interpretation No. 46
(FIN 46).

Some US$1.1 billion of total debt matures before the end of this year,
comprising aggregate borrowings of approximately US$750 million under the
revolving credit facility negotiated in December 2002, which expires in
December of this year (with a 364-day term-out option), and US$365 million
in maturing bonds.

Stockholders' equity decreased to US$1,019 million from US$1,277 million at
the end of June 2003.

Asbestos
On July 31, a U.S. district court approved a pre-packaged Chapter 11
protection plan filed earlier in the year by a U.S. subsidiary of ABB,
Combustion Engineering, marking further progress towards a settlement of the
asbestos issue.  Following the court's approval, an appeals period began on
a fast-track basis before the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.  The court
received all documentation on October 7 and a hearing date has been set for
December 16, 2003.  ABB remains confident that the plan will be approved.

To See Full Copy of Financial Results: http://bankrupt.com/misc/ABB_3Q.pdf


ABB LTD.: Intends to Lower Debt to US$7.3 Billion by Year's End
---------------------------------------------------------------
The company confirms its revenue, EBIT and gearing (total debt divided by
total debt plus stockholders' equity) targets for 2005.  From 2002 to 2005,
ABB expects compound average annual revenue growth of 4% in local
currencies.  The Power Technologies division expects compound average annual
revenue growth of 5.3% in local currencies.  The Automation Technologies
division expects compound average annual revenue growth of 3.3% in local
currencies.

For 2005, the Group's target EBIT margin remains 8% in U.S. dollars and the
company intends to reduce total debt to about US$4 billion and gearing to
approximately 50%, also unchanged.

ABB confirms its 2003 EBIT margin targets of 4% in U.S. dollars for the
Group, 7.0% for the Power Technologies division and 7.1% for the Automation
Technologies division.

ABB is adjusting its 2003 local currency revenue growth target to reflect
ongoing market weakness.  The Power Technologies division now forecasts
revenue growth in local currencies of 3.0% for 2003, compared to its
original target of 5.3%.  The Automation Technologies division has revised
its revenue growth target in local currencies to 2.0% from 3.0%.

Revenue and margin targets exclude major acquisitions and divestitures.

In the absence of cash proceeds from the divestment of its Oil, Gas and
Petrochemicals business this year, and following the application of FIN 46,
which adds approximately US$100 million to consolidated debt, the total debt
target for 2003 is now US$7.3 billion, compared to the previous target of
US$6.5 billion.  The new target does not include the issuance of a bond that
is part of the program announced to strengthen ABB's capital structure.  The
gearing target for 2003 remains unchanged at 70%.

To See Full Copy of Financial Results: http://bankrupt.com/misc/ABB_3Q.pdf


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


EDINBURGH FUND: Appoints Aberdeen Asset Executives to Board
-----------------------------------------------------------
Edinburgh Fund Managers Group plc announces that, following the Recommended
Offer by Ernst & Young LLP on behalf of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC being
declared unconditional on October 24, 2003, Sir Charles Nunneley and Andrew
Brown have resigned as non-executive directors with effect from October 24,
2003.

Martin Gilbert and Andrew Laing, respectively Chief Executive and Chief
Operating Officer of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, were appointed to the
board as executive directors on October 24, 2003.

No further information is required to be disclosed under paragraph 6.F.2(b)
to (g).

Martin Gilbert and Andrew Laing's other directorships in publicly quoted
companies in the previous five years are:

Martin Gilbert other directorships:

Current Directorships

Aberdeen Asset Management PLC
Aberdeen Development Capital Public Limited Company
Aberdeen Emerging Economies Investment Trust PLC (in liquidation)
Chaucer Holdings PLC
Firstgroup PLC
Aberdeen Convertible Income Trust PLC
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC
Broadgate Investment Trust PLC
The Turkey Trust Public Limited Company (in liquidation)
Primary Health Properties PLC
Healthcare Reform Investment Trust PLC (in liquidation)
Aberdeen Football Club PLC
Aberdeen Umbrella Cash Fund PLC
The London Market Fund PLC
The Taverners Trust PLC
Alternate to Hugh, William Whitbread
Aberdeen Growth VCT I PLC
Aberdeen Growth Opportunities VCT PLC

Past Directorships

Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC
International Real Estate PLC
Aberdeen High Income Trust PLC (Administrative Receiver)
Archer Dedicated PLC
The Taverners Trust PLC
Aberdeen International Fund PLC
Aberdeen Growth VCT II PLC

Andrew Laing other directorships

Current Directorships

Aberdeen Development Capital Public Limited Company, Alternate Director

Past Directorships

Aberdeen Asset Management PLC
Aberdeen High Income Trust PLC (Administrative Receiver), Alternate
Director
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC, Alternate Director
Atlantic Telecom Public Limited Company (in liquidation)
The Media and Income Trust PLC (Administrative Receiver)

                            *****

Edinburgh Fund is left with GBP3.2 billion trusts under management, mainly
investment trust, unit trust and venture capital funds, after losing large
asset management contracts, including that of Bank of Scotland pension fund
and Edinburgh Small Companies Trust. It has been in trouble since rejecting
a takeover approach last year by Hermes, the BT pension fund manager and its
biggest shareholder. Four non-executives and the chief executive resigned in
the wake of that move.

CONTACT:  Gavin Anderson
          Neil Bennett
          Phone: 0207 554 1400


HIBERNIA FOODS: Job Security at Teesside Sites Uncertain
--------------------------------------------------------
The fall into administrative receivership of Hibernia Foods Holdings (U.K.)
Ltd. has cast uncertainty into the future of more than 1,000 Teesside
workers, according to the Evening Gazette.

Hibernia Foods, which employs a total of 2,000 staff, has three Teesside
sites: two in Hartlepool employing a total of 693 staff and one in Stockton,
employing around 400.

It fell into the hands of receivers KPMG just weeks after it started
recruiting workers for its Brenda Road factory, where it is investing more
than GBP3 million in a new facility to manufacture its popular Mr. Brains
Faggots.

Hibernia Foods makes bakery products under license to U.S. food and textiles
group Sara Lee, and chilled desserts under license to Entenmanns, as well as
Mr. Brains faggots and own label products for major supermarkets.  The
Stockton site, at Preston Farm, produces frozen desserts.

KMPG is selling the business, and temporarily keeping the staff while the
process goes on.

Rayner Peett, KPMG spokesman, said there were "no immediate plans" to make
any redundancies, according to the report.


IMPERIAL CHEMICALS: Much-awaited Trading Update Due this Week
-------------------------------------------------------------
Investors in British chemicals group Imperial Chemicals Industries are
intensely awaiting an update from Chief Executive John McAdam on whether the
company's fragrances and flavors unit, Quest, and National Starch have
improved their performance.

ICI is suffering from negative free cashflow and a steep debt load.  In May,
it issued a profits warning with problems focused on poor trading at Quest
fragrances and flavorings unit and the rising raw material costs at National
Starch.

Scotland on Sunday news agency said investors will also want to hear how McA
dam is managing the group's strapped finances.

The chemicals group is now at the second stage of its group-wide
restructuring program aimed at cutting more than GBP100 million in annual
cost by 2005.  Restructuring will be funded through modest disposals and
cutback expenditure to mitigate against further debt, but it may not be
enough, the report emphasized.

McAdam has already announced two rounds of job cuts this year, a move that
has been met with strong opposition from unions.  He is not expected to
announce more this time around.

Imperial Chemicals also has at the end of 2002 a high pension-funding gap of
about GBP820 million.  Recently it said it would inject GBP62 million a year
for the next nine years to plug the deficit.

Ratings agency Moody's aggravated the pressure on the company after
reviewing the group's US$1.7 billion in debt securities with a view of
possibly downgrading the instrument, a move that would leave its rating just
one notch above junk status.

The report said McAdam might have to put one of Imperial Chemical's prized
divisions up for sale to improve long-term performance.

The group is expected to report its third-quarter results this week with
pre-tax profits before exceptional items and goodwill for the quarter
anticipated to be down to between GBP89 million and GBP109 million from
GBP121 million with the same period last year.


MACFARLANE GROUP: Sells Packaging Asset to Reduce Losses
--------------------------------------------------------
Macfarlane Group PLC has signed a conditional agreement for the disposal of
the business and certain assets and liabilities of Macfarlane's Northern
packaging manufacturing operations in Dundee, Govan and North Shields to DS
Smith PLC for a cash consideration of GBP0.9 million.

In the year ended December 31, 2002, the business incurred losses before
interest and tax of GBP1.5 million on turnover of GPB12.9 million.  In the
nine-month period to September 2003, the business incurred losses before
interest and tax of GBP1.3 million on turnover of GBP7.3 million.  The
business employed a total of 108 staff at September 30, 2003.  Net assets of
the business amounted to GBP4.1 million at September 30, 2003.  (December
31, 2002 - GBP5.4 million) Macfarlane will record a book loss on disposal of
GBP3.2 million in its accounts to December 31, 2003, primarily due to asset
write-downs.  Completion is subject to employee consultation and other legal
conditions and is likely to conclude in November.  The transaction is
expected to be cash neutral.

Sir John Ward, Chairman of Macfarlane Group on Monday said 'I indicated in
our half-year announcement that all aspects of the business would be
reviewed to reduce losses and this agreement helps us meet that objective.
This agreement will also help strengthen the strong trading partnership
between Macfarlane and DS Smith.'


MARCONI CORPORATION: Analysts Conference on Results Set Nov. 13
---------------------------------------------------------------
Marconi Corporation plc (LSE: MONI; NASDAQ: MRCIY) will publish its interim
results for the three months and six months ended September 30, 2003 on
Thursday November 13, 2003.

Management will host a presentation for financial analysts at 4 p.m. (U.K.
time) on that date in London.  Equity and fixed income analysts and
investors wishing to attend are requested to register and obtain full
details by contacting: Marconi Investor Relations - Matthew Brooks on +44
(0) 24 7656 2249 or investor.relations@marconi.com

Simultaneous conference call and audiocast facilities will be available.

About Marconi Corporation plc

Marconi Corporation plc is a global telecommunications equipment, services
and solutions company.  The company's core business is the provision of
innovative and reliable optical networks, broadband routing and switching
and broadband access technologies and services.  The company's customer base
includes many of the world's largest telecommunications operators.  The
company is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol MONI and on
Nasdaq under the symbol MRCIY.  Additional information about Marconi
Corporation can be found at http://www.marconi.com

                            *****

Together with the company's trading update for second quarter, Mike Parton,
Chief Executive, commented: "Our performance during the quarter reflects our
persistent focus on sales, cash management and cost reduction, despite the
continued difficult trading conditions in our industry.

"While we remain cautious about the shorter term outlook, we are confident
for the Company's and industry's long-term prospects."

CONTACT:  MARCONI CORPORATION
          Investor Enquiries:
          Heather Green
          Phone: 0207 306 1735
          E-mail: heather.green@marconi.com


REGUS PLC: Shareholders Approve Reorganization Plan
---------------------------------------------------
On Monday, shareholders gathered at a meeting ordered by the High Court of
Justice of England and Wales and an extraordinary general meeting of the
Company to consider and vote upon various resolutions to approve, inter alia

    (i) A scheme of arrangement under section 425 of the
        Companies Act 1985 under which it is proposed that a new
        company, Regus Group plc, will be introduced as the new
        holding company of the Regus group of companies

   (ii) Various matters relating to the implementation of
        the Scheme, and

  (iii) Regus' plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the
        U.S. Bankruptcy Code which, subject to approval by the
        U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. creditors and Regus
        shareholders (by way of ballot), is intended to result
        in the emergence of Regus from Chapter 11 in the United
        States.

The Board of Regus is pleased to announce that all resolutions put to
shareholders at the Court Meeting and the necessary majorities passed the
EGM.

At the Court Meeting, 99.3% of votes cast by number of shareholders,
representing 99.8% of votes by value, were in favor of the Scheme.

At the EGM, the resolutions approving the Scheme, various matter relating to
the implementation of the Scheme, and the Plan were passed on a show of
hands.

The implementation of the Scheme remains subject to, inter alia, the
sanction of the Scheme by the High Court at a hearing expected to be held on
November 14, 2003.  Subject to the sanction of the High Court, the Scheme is
expected to become effective on November 17, 2003, the last day of dealings
in the ordinary shares of Regus is therefore expected to be November 14,
2003, and the date on which the ordinary shares of Regus Group plc (which
shareholders will receive in exchange for their shares in Regus) will be
admitted to the Official List of the
U.K. Listing Authority and to trading on the main market for listed
securities of the London Stock Exchange is expected to be November 17, 2003.

The implementation of the Plan remains subject to the approval of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court, U.S. creditors and Regus shareholders (by way of ballot).
It is expected that application will be made to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for an order approving/confirming the Plan on November 12, 2003.

A further announcement in relation to the Scheme will be made after the High
Court's hearing to sanction the Scheme has taken place.

CONTACT:  REGUS PLC
          Stephen Jolly
          Phone: +44 1932 895 135


REUTERS GROUP: Core Third Quarter Revenues Fall 12%
---------------------------------------------------
Business performance highlights:

Reuters Group

(a) Group revenue for the three months to 30 September was GBP789 million
(2002: GBP855 million), down 8% on an actual basis.

Reuters

(a) Reuters revenue was GBP658 million (2002: GBP716 million), down 12% on
an underlying basis.

(b) Reuters recurring revenue was GBP609 million (2002: GBP654 million),
down 10.9% on an underlying basis, slightly ahead of Reuters forecast
decline of 11-12%.

Tom Glocer, Reuters Group Chief Executive, said: "Trading performance this
quarter was a little better than expected, driven by a reduction in the
overall rate of net cancellations for the third consecutive quarter.  We
continued to gain traction in the U.S. market and saw a seventh big
competitive win this year for Reuters Plus, which was chosen by Fidelity's
National Financial to replace 5,000 positions of its in-house system. We now
expect the full year decline in recurring revenue to be 11% or slightly
better.

"Fast Forward is now in full swing, so the pace of change has accelerated
this quarter.  I was particularly pleased to be able to announce that we
have negotiated an advantageous new commercial deal and stock repurchase
agreement with TIBCO; that Reuters is to become the first company to let its
customers connect with AOL, MSN and other widely used instant messaging
networks; and that we have concluded a financially attractive property deal
to bring most of our London staff under one roof in Canary Wharf.

"At a time when so much of the Reuters story depends on our ability to
deliver, it is particularly encouraging to be able to report that we are
executing according to plan."

To See Statutory Results: http://bankrupt.com/misc/Statutory_results.htm

Underlying percentage change excludes acquisitions and disposals since
January 1, 2002 and is stated at constant exchange rates. The only exception
is the Island acquisition, which has been fully integrated within Instinet.

This release includes certain non-GAAP figures that are performance measures
used to manage the business.   Reconciliations to equivalent U.K. GAAP
figures can be found at http://www.about.reuters.comin the Investors
section under Financial Data.

To See Full Copy of Financial Report:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/REUTERS_3Q.htm


WATERFORD WEDGWOOD: Seeks Due Date Extension on GBP279 Mln Loan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Waterford Wedgewood, the debt-laden crystal and china manufacturer,
reportedly asked for more time from its bankers to finalize the refinancing
of its GBP279 million of debt.

The troubled household goods company earlier this month bent to pressures
from bankers to issue a EUR190 million (US$317 million) in junk bonds.  It
agreed to "actively pursue" discussions to raise the debt and to secure it
by October 29.

But Intesatrade cited U.K.'s Financial Times quoting executives familiar
with the company saying it's unlikely to announce a bond within the week.

Bankers, with which Waterford Wedgwood has EUR350 million in debts,
previously urged the company to issue junk bonds as a condition to its debt
restructuring.  They also specified that it would only agree to a
refinancing if the company holds its interim dividend, reduce stock levels,
and give up all other capital expenditures except that which is currently
underway.  The company already announced a 50% cut in the final payout for
the last year.

Troubles for Waterford Wedgwood stems from years of acquisitions,
restructuring, and increase in working capital.  In June, it agreed to
suspend its banking covenants after realizing that the poor earnings of its
core crystal and china products were ruining key ratios.


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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
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Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

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