TCRLA_Public/010208.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                  L A T I N   A M E R I C A

         Thursday, February 8, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 28



AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Union Advised Of Mass Worker Dismissal
DAIMLERCHRYSLER: To Close Cordoba Plant
EPEC/EPESF: Enersis Won't Participate In Privatization Process
IMCA Y PER: Firing More Than Half Of Total Workforce


AMAZONAS: Slated For Privatization In August
BOMBRIL: Calls Shareholders Meeting On Exchange Delisting
COPENE: Minimum Bid Price To Be Set Monday
FURNAS: Eletrobras Adjusting Books, Preparing For Privatization
SAELPA: Alliant Energy Acquires Stake For $110 Million
SABESP: Sao Paulo Government To List On New Market
TUTUPIA.COM: To Establish Partnership With Adwise Inc.


BANCO DE CHILE: Analysts Predict Luksic-CenBank Equity Swap


BANCRECER: IPAB And Deutsche Bank Work To Finalize Sale Details
GRUPO DINA: Seen Likely To Put Be Put Up For Sale
SITUR: Pre-acquisition Audit Of Hotels To Be Concluded Mid-March
TRIBASA: Finance Ministry Scraps Tax Debt Payment Proposal


CANTV: Posts 90 Percent Increase In 4Q00 Profit

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AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Union Advised Of Mass Worker Dismissal
Emilio Cabrera, Executive Director at debt-laden flagship carrier
Aerolineas Argentinas, warned Argentine union leaders that he is
considering firing 1,121 after the company's voluntary retirement
scheme failed to attract sufficient numbers. Alicia Castro, the    
airline worker union leader and congresswoman, told Reuters of
the threat in a report published Tuesday.

"The redundancies would be a flagrant violation of the pact
between SEPI and the government," Castro commented.

In October, the Argentine government unveiled a restructuring
plan under which Spanish state holding company SEPI offered to
inject some $650 million in cash into the airline in exchange for
an extensive job cut and cost reduction plan. However, the plan
proposed cutting the workforce through voluntary and not forced
redundancies. At a time in which the government was desperate to
avoid aggravating unemployment levels, they ultimately agreed.

In addition to the planned redundancies, Cabrera is also
considering wage cuts and discontinuing flights on four domestic
routes, Castro added.

Aerolineas' debt currently stands at around $800 million -
basically equalling its entire equity.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER: To Close Cordoba Plant
Despite investing US$50 million, DaimlerChrysler revealed plans
to close its plant in Cordoba, where the Jeep Grand Cherokee is
built, South American Business Information reported Tuesday.

The company generates revenues of 700 million pesos in Argentina:
500 million pesos of which come from the sale and export of the
Sprinter and the 200 million pesos come from buses manufactured
in Gonzalez Catalan in Buenos Aires.

The Cordoba plant has a production capacity of 200,000 vehicles
annually, but its present production is 1,920.

Reports emerging last week stated that the company has closed
some of its plants in several countries and has cut staff in
order to restore profitability.

EPEC/EPESF: Enersis Won't Participate In Privatization Process
Chilean power holding Enersis said it would not participate in
the privatization process of Argentine distributors Epec and
Epesf. Enersis president Alfredo Llorente explained the company's
positiong in a report released Tuesday.

"Our development department has studied the subject and we
probably won't participate," Llorente told journalists in
Santiago, Chile yesterday.

Epec and Epesf began their sales process this month.

IMCA Y PER: Firing More Than Half Of Total Workforce
Imca y Per will let go more than half of its workforce after the
failure of its acquisition by the Techint group, South American
Business Information said Tuesday. The Argentinean holding
company Techint decided against exercising its acquisition
option, held by its controlled company Siderarm, to acquire the
iron and steel company of Rosario. Imca y Per is a national
capital company specializing in the production of pipes and
section. According to company director Cayetano Francipane, the
Tequila crisis in 1994 led to the company's financial dilemma.


AMAZONAS: Slated For Privatization In August
BEA president Fernando Noronha revealed in a Brazil Financial
Wire report published Tuesday that state-owned bank Amazonas
(BEA) would be sold to a private investor in August. The
Brazilian central bank is expected this week to name a consulting
company to evaluate the assets of the bank and oversee the
privatization model.

"We expect Deloitte Touche to be selected, granted that it is the
only firm interested in the job," Noronha said, adding that the
company has up to 150 days to present its first evaluation of

BOMBRIL: Calls Shareholders Meeting On Exchange Delisting
Bombril, cleaning products manufacturer, scheduled February 14,
5:00 pm/19:00GMT to meet with stockholders to talk about the
company's imminent de-listing and cancellation as a publicly-
traded company, reported Brazil Financial Wire Tuesday. During
the meeting, shareholders are expected to finalize the terms and
conditions to be presented to the Brazilian stock market
regulatory body, CVM. In a written statement to the Sao Paulo
Stock Exchange, the company related that its proposal has already
received approval from its fiscal and administrative boards.

COPENE: Minimum Bid Price To Be Set Monday
The base price for the country's largest maker of basic
petrochemicals Petroquimica do Nordeste Copene SA will be set on
Monday, Brazil's central bank announced this in a Bloomberg
report Tuesday. The ultimate price will be determined when the
central bank and other Copene shareholders invite bidders to the
March 20 auction. If no bids meet or exceed the minimum bid,
shareholders may still accept the highest bid for their 77
percent stake in Norquisa SA, the holding company that controls
Copene, according to a central bank spokesman.

Earlier reports suggested that the shareholders of Copene, among
which are Grupo Mariani, Odebrecht SA, Cia. Suzano del Papel e
Celulose and Sumitomo Chemical Co., plan to set a minimum price
of between $1 billion and $1.2 billion for the assets.

The initial attempt to sell the petrochemicals company in mid-
December flopped when prospective bidders failed to make
satisfactory offers

FURNAS: Eletrobras Adjusting Books, Preparing For Privatization
Brazil's federal power holding Eletrobras will revise the books
of its huge unit Furnas in order to comply with U.S. accounting
standards. The company expects to finish the changes in the next
three weeks, Eletrobras president Firmino Sampaio said in a
Reuters Tuesday report. Aligning its accounting protocols is
fundamental to preparing for privatization scheduled later this

According to Sampaio, the adjustment of the company's corporate
results is crucial for the most efficient Furnas sale, which will
be done via public offerings and not in a single block as in most
of Brazil's privatizations.

"The decision to pulverize (sell in chunks) has already been
taken, but we still don't have a sale model," he said. Most
probably, the giant generation, transmission and distribution
firm would be split up into two companies before the
privatization and that the most valuable generation unit would be
privatized. Sampaio also said Furnas was preparing to engage a
consulting firm to do its strategic planning soon.

SAELPA: Alliant Energy Acquires Stake For $110 Million
Alliant Energy purchased a stake in Brazilian power utility
Sociedade An"nima de Eletrifica‡ao da Paraˇba (Saelpa) worth $110
million, Brazil Financial Wire reported Tuesday. With the
acquisition, Alliant, a subsidiary of U.S. power group Alliant
Energy Corporation, expects to realize a slight increase in
earnings this year. The company anticipates to earnings per share
of $0.30 in 2002, $0.40 in 2003 and $0.50 in 2004.

Saelpa employs 1,138 people and caters to more than 726,000

SABESP: Sao Paulo Government To List On New Market
The government of Sao Paulo is preparing state-owned water
utility Cia. De Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (SABESP)
to list on the New Market of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange
(Bovespa), reported Brazil Financial Wire Tuesday. According to
Andr‚ Franco Montoro Filho, economy and planning secretary, with
Sabesp's generally accepted accounting practices, it is closer to
listing on Bovespa's New Market since it complies with most norms
regulating it. In addition, Sabesp has only issued common shares
(voting) and this is another Bovespa New Market admission
requirement, the secretary further said.

Last week, a report in the TCR-LA indicated the Sao Paulo state
might sell a portion of its 88-percent stake in the water utility
but no exact date has been set yet. "The state is just awaiting
the new regulation to sell the company," said Marcos Severine, a
power utility analyst at Banco Sudameris's brokerage in Sao

TUTUPIA.COM: To Establish Partnership With Adwise Inc.
Adwise Inc. (, the leading provider of network-
level ad management technology, announced today an agreement with to offer real-time behavioral ad management services
in the rapidly growing Latin American Internet market. ( is a leading Latin American direct
marketing and communications company and Internet access

Tutopia provides approximately 2 million users in 9 Latin America
countries with free Internet access in exchange for viewing ads
while they surf the Web. Adwise's BRITE(TM) system enables
Tutopia to target and deliver content and advertisements to its
subscribers in real-time, based on behavioral and demographic
data, without compromising user privacy. Because Adwise
technology can serve ads in client-less environments, Tutopia's
subscribers do not need to download any special client software
onto their computers to view the ads.

"Adwise and Tutopia are poised to revolutionize the online
advertising industry in Latin America. We are introducing
completely new standards for precise, real-time, behavioral ad
targeting and effective ad campaign management," said Dan
Schwartz, CEO of Adwise.

"The Latin American Internet market is growing at an incredibly
rapid pace, and is expected to reach $1 billion by 2003 according
to a Credit Suisse First Boston study," said Jack Bursztyn,
President of "We have partnered with Adwise to serve
relevant messages to our subscribers and allow our advertisers to
enjoy the highest rates of return on their investment."


BANCO DE CHILE: Analysts Predict Luksic-CenBank Equity Swap
Speculation is rife among local and international banking
analysts that Chile's Luksic group will propose an equity swap to
the Central Bank once it takes full control of Banco de Chile, reported Tuesday.

Banco de Chile is considered the darling of Chilean banking
because of its impressive profitability over a number of years.
However, the bank is under pressure to produce high returns in
order to make its annual subordinated debt repayments to the
Central Bank after being bailed out during Chile's financial
crisis in the early 1980s.

Jason Mollin, an analyst at Bear Sterns Latin America, sees the  
possibility that a debt-for-equity swap will take place after
Luksic takes control of Banco de Chile. The same goes for
Laurence Madsen, a senior Latin American banking analyst at UBS
Warburg, who thinks the entire deal could go down this year. The
only real question, according to Mollin, is how much of Banco de
Chile the group would be willing to offer the Central Bank.

On the other hand, Ana Maria Masisas, Chilean rating agency
Feller Rate banking analyst, said Luksic would have to negotiate
a whole new contract with the Central Bank for the subordinated
debt because there is already one in place that requires Banco de
Chile to make annual repayments.


BANCRECER: IPAB And Deutsche Bank Work To Finalize Sale Details
Sources at Mexican bank bailout agency IPAB said that the agency
and Deutsche bank are working to arrive at final details of the
sale of government-intervened Bancrecer. An El
Economista/Infolatina report released Tuesday suggested that both
institutions want the details finalized before the end of March,
saying that they are "finessing the details" of the sell-off of
Bancrecer's assets, which include a pension fund manager and a
700-branch retail banking concern.

GRUPO DINA: Seen Likely To Put Be Put Up For Sale
With the depressing situation at heavy-vehicle maker Dina, Rafael
Gomez Flores and the rest of his team will soon be prompted to
sell the company, according to Mexican auto industry analysts in
a Reforma/Infolatina report published Tuesday. Swedish-owned
Volvo is regarded as the most likely buyer since it has expressed
interest in acquiring the maker in the past.

The current situation at Grupo Dina has grown worse, with
DaimlerChrysler last year refusing to honor a major supply
contract the company signed with Westernstar Trucks, and Dina --
facing a slump in major export markets -- unable to compensate
for the lost orders with new contracts

SITUR: Pre-acquisition Audit Of Hotels To Be Concluded Mid-March
The pre-acquisition audit of a package of nine Mexican hotels to
be purchased by General Motors-owned investment fund Steadfast
will be completed by mid-March, Reforma/Infolatina said Tuesday.
Shortly after that, Steadfast is expected to complete the
acquisition of the hotels being sold by Jalisco-based commercial
and hotel property Situr, which is owned by Jose and Jorge
Martinez Guitron. Steadfast has not yet contracted a company to
operate the hotels but word on the street says Mexico's Grupo
Posadas is the most likely candidate for the job.

TRIBASA: Finance Ministry Scraps Tax Debt Payment Proposal
The country's Finance ministry rejected a proposal by the
struggling Mexican firm Tribasa to pay off its tax debt with
highway construction projects, Reforma/Infolatina reported
Tuesday. According to reports, should the Mexican Finance
ministry stand by its decision, the rest of the company's
creditors will not back the restructuring proposal currently on
the table. Tribasa, at present, faces an 80-million-dollar tax


CANTV: Posts 90 Percent Increase In 4Q00 Profit
Venezuela's largest telephone company CA Nacional Telefonos de
Venezuela (CANTV) rose after it announced that profit during the
fourth-quarter surge 93 percent compared to a year earlier as
currency-exchange losses and bad-debt provisions fell, Bloomberg
said Tuesday. The company also announced that it reduced its
workforce by 34 percent, or 3,752 employees through early
retirements. As a result, annual operating costs will be reduced
by $85 million. The job cuts resulted in a fourth-quarter charge
of $157.7 million, the company added.

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 Latin American is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ,
and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC. John D. Resnick, Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche and Janice Mendoza, Editors.

Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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