TCRLA_Public/010424.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

            Tuesday, April 24, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 80

                           Headlines




A R G E N T I N A

WINSTAR COMM.: US Bankruptcy Seen Not Affecting Argentinean Ops
WINSTAR COMM.: Wolf Haldenstein To File Class Action Suit


B R A Z I L

CESP: Privatization Still On For May 16 Says Governor
CVRD: Commits To Acquire Caemi Shares From Mitsui
CVRD: Caemi Acquisition Suffers Setback Due To Antitrust Concerns


C H I L E

TELEX-CHILE: SVS Extends Suspension of Trading In Shares


M E X I C O

AHMSA: Close To Deal With Creditors Over Debt-Restructuring Plan
ALO.COM: Bank Of America To Pay $40M For Stake
BANCRECER: IPAB To Formally Seek Bids In Mid-May
CINTRA: Congress's Move To Block Breakup Harms Sale Value
EUZKADI: Labor Contract Dispute Could Ultimately Close Plant
GRUPO SIMEC: Announces Change In Control, Note Redemption Offer
TELEVISA: Analysts Suggest Divestment of Less Profitable Assets
TELEVISA: Drops TV News Channel; Plans To Dismiss 2,500 Workers
TMM: Hopes To Obtain Loan To Refinance Debt


V E N E Z U E L A

SIVENSA: CVG President Reveals Potential Investors' Interest

     - - - - - - - - - -


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A R G E N T I N A
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WINSTAR COMM.: US Bankruptcy Seen Not Affecting Argentinean Ops
---------------------------------------------------------------
The bankruptcy filing of US telecommunications company Winstar
Communications On April 18 will not affect the company's services
in Argentina, according to Eduardo D'Alessandro, managing
director of Winstar Latin America, in a Buenos Aires Economico
report released Thursday. However, it will temporarily suspend
its expansion plans for the region, which involved operations in
Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico. Winstar entered the
Argentinian market just a few months ago in order to take
advantage of the deregulation of the sector. The company's
regional restructuring has already led to its local workforce
being reduced by about 30 per cent. About 15 per cent of the
staff affected were based in Buenos Aires.

For more information about Winstar's ongoing restructuring, see
Winstar Bankruptcy News at http://www.bankrupt.com/winstar.txta
case-specific publication tracking the chapter 11 restructuring
under taken by Winstar Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: WCII - news)
and its various debtor-affiliates, including Office.com, Inc


WINSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Files Class Action Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP:

Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Fraud Class Action Suit
Against Winstar Communications, Inc. Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP commenced a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of all purchasers of Winstar Communications, Inc. (Winstar
or the Company) (NASDAQ: WCII--news) securities during the period
between August 2, 2000 and April 2, 2001, inclusive (the Class
Period), against Winstar, William J. Rouhana, Jr. (Chief
Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors),
Richard J. Uhl (Chief Financial Officer), and Nathan Kantor
(President and Chief Operating Officer).

The judge presiding over the case is the Honorable Miriam Goldman
Cedarbaum, and the case is numbered 01-CV-3276. If you would like
to view a copy of the complaint filed in this action, please
visit the Wolf Haldenstein web site located at
http://www.whafh.com

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market during the Class
Period, thereby artificially inflating the price of Winstar
securities. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the
defendants made material misrepresentations and omissions of
material facts concerning the company's business performance
during throughout the Class Period. According to the complaint,
throughout the Class Period defendants repeatedly assured
investors that the company was performing well, that the company
was enjoying strong growth, and that it was well-funded to follow
its growth-oriented business plan through the first quarter of
2002. At the same time, however, the complaint alleges that the
defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that Winstar was
overstating its revenues and assets. On April 5, 2001, contrary
to prior representations, Winstar announced that it was halting
its expansion plans and laying off 2,000 employees (representing
about 50% of the Company's workforce). On April 2, 2001, the
Company disclosed that it would be filing its annual Report on
Form 10-K late. The decline in the value of Winstar common stock
has been extraordinary, with the stock closing at $0.40 per share
on April 6, 2001. The stock traded as high as $32.00 per share
during the Class Period.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all those who
purchased or otherwise acquired Winstar securities during the
Class Period. If you purchased or otherwise acquired Winstar
securities during the Class Period, and either lost money on the
transaction or still hold the securities, you may wish to join in
the action to serve as lead plaintiff. If you purchased Winstar
securities during the Class Period, you may, no later than June
11, 2001, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. A
lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of
other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be
appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class
member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members,
and that the class member will adequately represent the class.
Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may
together serve as lead plaintiffs. Your ability to share in any
recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not
to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Wolf Haldenstein, or
other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this
action.


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B R A Z I L
===========

CESP: Privatization Still On For May 16 Says Governor
-----------------------------------------------------
Privatization of Cesp Parana will push through on May 16,
according to Geraldo Alckmin, Brazil's Sao Paulo state governor,
in a Business News Americas report Friday issue. The announcement
comes amid requests by some organizations to suspend the
operation for 12 months. CESP's association of retired workers
and local trade union leaders asked Alckmin to halt the sell-off
this week, questioning the privatization model to be used.
Bidding rules were released on April 17, and the company, which
has 6,319MW installed capacity, will be auctioned for a minimum
price of R$1.7 million (US$777,000) on the Sao Paulo stock market
(Bovespa). Companies, which have shown interest in the auction
include Duke, AES, NRG and Mirant of the US, Belgium's Tractebel,
Spain's Endesa, France's EDF and Portugal's EDP.


CVRD: Commits To Acquire Caemi Shares From Mitsui
-------------------------------------------------
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (NYSE: RIO PR (ADR); BOVESPA: VALE3
(ordinarias); VALE5 (preferenciais); LATIBEX: XVALP) (CVRD), the
largest world producer and exporter of iron ore, announces that
it has committed to acquire from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) 50%
of the common shares of Caemi Mineracao e Metalurgia S.A. (CMM).
Mitsui exercised today its right of`first refusal in order to
acquire common shares representing 60% of the voting power of CMM
from the controlling shareholders of CMM.

Since Mitsui already owns 40% of CMM's common shares, upon the
conclusion of the transaction Mitsui and CVRD will each own 50%
of CMM's voting power. CVRD's investment in the transaction will
equal approximately US$280,000,000.00.

The conclusion of the transaction is subject to certain
conditions, including regulatory approvals. Once the conditions
are fulfilled, the shares will be transferred to CVRD, which will
make a new public announcement in accordance with the Brazilian
Securities Commision, CVM, Instruction 31, of February 8, 1984.


CVRD: Caemi Acquisition Suffers Setback Due To Antitrust Concerns
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce's (CVRD) plan to acquire a 50-percent
stake in Caemi Mineracao e Metalurgica suffers a setback as it
has to wait for five and a half months because of antitrust
concerns, Bloomberg reported Friday. The European antitrust
regulators are expected to use the maximum time allowed to decide
whether CVRD's purchase of 50-percent Caemi stake in a
transaction valued around $280 million will give CVRD too much
control of supply to European steelmakers. However, CVRD
President, Jório Dauster, is confident that the joint acquisition
of local mining company Caemi by CVRD and Mitsui should be
approved by the European Union. According to Dauster, a ruling by
the EU should only be unveiled in three or four months.



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C H I L E
=========

TELEX-CHILE: SVS Extends Suspension of Trading In Shares
--------------------------------------------------------
The SVS, Chile's securities & exchange commission, has extended
the suspension of trading in shares of telecoms holding company
Telex-Chile (NYSE: TL) and its long distance subsidiary Chilesat
on the Santiago Stock Exchange (IPSA) from April 16 to April 23,
Business News Americas reported last week. The reason for the
suspension is that the company did not provide any satisfactory
information to shareholders concerning the proposed sale of
Chilesat. The SVS has requested from Telex management additional
information regarding the company's cash balance and has also
asked why it defaulted on an US$8.9-million credit facility that
expired on April 5. In a statement sent to the SVS, the Telex
board explained that the company did not have the cash resources
to pay the facility. Telex is currently seeking court protection
from its creditors and the board will likely recommend the sale
of Chilesat at the April 27 extraordinary shareholders' meeting.



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M E X I C O
===========

AHMSA: Close To Deal With Creditors Over Debt-Restructuring Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
Altos Hornos de Mexico, Mexico's largest former state-owned
steelmaker, is about to strike a deal with creditors on a debt-
restructuring plan, an unnamed AHMSA spokesperson revealed in an
Infolatina report Friday edition.

"Practically all the creditors have already signed agreements on
the debt-restructuring. Almost 100 percent of the creditors have
already accepted the agreements," the spokesperson related,
adding that two broad types of agreements had been struck with
creditors - one type with creditors of AHMSA, and the other with
creditors of AHMSA holding company Grupo Acerero del Norte (GAN).
AHMSA has liabilities of nearly $1.85 billion. The company
declared suspension of payments more than two years ago, but
expects to lift the suspension soon.


ALO.COM: Bank Of America To Pay $40M For Stake
----------------------------------------------
Bank of America is expected to pay some $40 million for an
estimated 33 percent stake in Alo.com holding company Novamedia
Holdings, Reforma/Infolatina reported Friday. According to
reports, Bank of America has reached an agreement in principle
with Alo.com Chairman Guillermo Canedo White that will lead to
the acquisition of the equity postion by the U.S.-based bank.
Novamedia Holdings is looking to create two new subsidiaries, and
reports has it that independent sources of financing for the two
ventures are currently being sought.


BANCRECER: IPAB To Formally Seek Bids In Mid-May
------------------------------------------------
Mexican bank bailout agency IPAB is expected to make a bid call
in mid-May for the sale of government-intervened bank Bancrecer,
Reforma/Infolatina said in a report Friday. Thirty Days after
that, the "data room" at Bancrecer will then be opened. In the
interim, the bailout agency will announce a final decision with
respect to a claim made by Dresdner-Allianz, which together own a
49-percent stake in Bancrecer pension fund manager Afore
Bancrecer. Dresdner claims to hold an option on an additional 3.5
percent in the fund manager, and, if it decides to exercise its
buy option, IPAB will face a difficult task in selling what would
be a minority stake of 47.5-percent in the pension fund manager.
Conventional wisdom says there would be little interest from
bidders in acquiring a minority stake in the pension manager.


CINTRA: Congress's Move To Block Breakup Harms Sale Value
---------------------------------------------------------
Sources at the antitrust agency, the Federal Competition
Commission (CFC) revealed that the opposition-controlled Mexican
Congress's attempts to block the proposed breakup of government-
owned airline holding company Cintra is putting the potential
sale value of the company's assets at risk, Reforma/Infolatina
said in a report Friday. Opposition parties, which have a
majority in both houses of Congress, were set to pass an
amendment on Thursday to the federal Economic Competition Act
declaring commercial aviation an area of "national priority" and,
as such, not subject to normal antitrust regulations. If such
amendment will be implemented, the government would be forced to
subsidize the airline industry heavily.

The CFC last year ruled that Cintra, which dominates more than 70
percent of Mexico's air transport market, should be broken up and
sold.


EUZKADI: Labor Contract Dispute Could Ultimately Close Plant
------------------------------------------------------------
An ongoing labor conflict could drive Tiremaker Euzkadi to shut
down its Guadalajara plant, according to a Reforma/Infolatina
report released Friday. The conflict reportedly revolves around
the company's efforts to revise a collective contract with
workers in order to boost efficiency at the plant. If the
conflict goes on unresolved, the tiremaker could just opt to
close the plant and would rather import tires than make them in
the country.


GRUPO SIMEC: Announces Change In Control, Note Redemption Offer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Simec, S.A. de C.V. (AMEX-SIM) announced that as a result
of the acquisition on March 30, 2001 by Industrias CH, S.A. de
C.V. of an 82.5% interest in Simec, pursuant to the Fiscal Agency
Agreement pursuant to which Simec's wholly-owned subsidiary,
Compania Siderurgica de Guadalajara, S.A. de C.V., issued its 10
1/2% Third Priority Notes Due November 15, 2007, it has commenced
an offer to purchase all outstanding notes at a price of 100% of
their principal amount plus accrued interest to the date of
redemption. Simec will redeem on June 8, 2001 all notes that are
validly tendered for purchase by May 24, 2001.


TELEVISA: Analysts Suggest Divestment of Less Profitable Assets
---------------------------------------------------------------
Citing a drop in advertising receipts in the fourth quarter of
2000, analysts recommended that Mexican TV group Televisa should
divest itself of those assets, which generate minimal profits, if
it wants to secure greater group profitability, South American
Business Information reported Friday. In 2000, its record label
division offered EBITDA margins of only 10 percent with most
sales occurring in the US where Televisa is unable to promote
artists sufficiently. Another divestiture could come in its
publishing division. Just recently, Televisa announced the
closure of its news broadcaster ECO in an effort to save US$50
million in costs annually.


TELEVISA: Drops TV News Channel; Plans To Dismiss 2,500 Workers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Mexican Televisa company On April 19, discontinued the
transmission of its ECO (Empresa de Comunicacion Orbital) news
service because of the worsening financial situation at the
company, EFE News Agency said in a report. ECO, which is said to
have been flowing red ink, has been providing uninterrupted
coverage for 13 years to more than 400 million Latin American
television viewers. The move to close the TV news channel saw 400
unionized and trust employees, as well as independent
contractors, losing their jobs. Televisa is also planning to
dismiss 2,500 employees, cancel two remote-control units and
slash the number of technicians and production staff.

"The lay-offs began on 16 April," said three consortium
executives. They even commented that Televisa's crisis is such
that approximately 2,500 employees will lose their jobs.

According to Televisa, all these measures will be ratified on 25
April, when the company's board of directors meets.


TMM: Hopes To Obtain Loan To Refinance Debt
-------------------------------------------
Mexican transport conglomerate Transportacion Maritima Mexicana
(TMM), which ended 2000 with debts of approximately US$450
million, is hoping to obtain a US$40-million loan this week from
banking entities to refinance debts, South American Business
Information reported Friday. It is expected that over the next
few months, the load could increase to US$60 million and the
banks in charge of the loan, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America
Corp, are likely to contribute the subsequent US$20 million. TMM
had been hoping to secure the loan since last year to pay a
Yankee bond worth US$149 million. Of the total amount of debts
that TMM has posted last year, US$176 million of which is in
bonds, which will mature in May 2003 and US$200 million in
November 2006.

Meanwhile, TMM, which also has a controlling stake in TFM
(Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana), has been named as one of
the four bidders for a maritime-transfer or ferry project that
will link the Central American countries of Nicaragua and El
Salvador. The ferry service will operate in the Gulf of Fonseca.



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V E N E Z U E L A
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SIVENSA: CVG President Reveals Potential Investors' Interest
------------------------------------------------------------
Francisco Rangel, president of state heavy-industry holding the
Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG), revealed that a series
of potential investors have shown interest in taking part in
Venezuela's hot-briquette iron plant Orinoco, Business News
Americas reported last week. According to Rangel, CVG will
analyze thoroughly the options over the coming days given the
issue's importance.

"With the start up Orinoco Iron and the [separate plant] Posven,
Venezuela becomes the world's biggest producer and exporter of
hot-briquette iron. That has a special significance for us,
principally in the economic field," he said, making reference to
Venezuelan policy to reduce its dependence on oil.

CVG, which owns six percent of the Iron plant through its stake
in IBH's parent company Sivensa, recently announced it would
throw its full support to help save the $900 million Iron plant
from total breakdown.




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.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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