TCRLA_Public/010911.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, September 11, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 177

                           Headlines

* A R G E N T I N A *

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Sepi to Conclude Sale by Month's End,
Early-Oct.
EL SITIO: Shareholders Approve Merger With Ibero-American Media Partners
EPEC/EPESF: Governments to Delay Privatization

* B R A Z I L *

CVRD: Laager to Head Logistics Executive Office
EBSE: Privatization Yields Good Results
GLOBO CABO: Moody's Revised Ratings Outlook
GLOBO CABO: Rolls Out Red Carpet For New Officer
MOULINEX-BRANDT: Failure in Negotiations Leads to Bankruptcy
Filing
MOULINEX-BRANDT: El.Fi Refutes Reports

* C H I L E *

ENERSIS: Pushes For Clear Vertical Integration Rules

* M E X I C O *

ACNET ENTITIES: Murdock Communications Corp. Announces Settlement
GAM: Bancomext to Treat Debt in a Normal Way
SL INDUSTRIES: Announces Sale of SL Waber

* N I C A R A G U A *

ENITEL: Supreme Court to Decide Sale's Legality in Two Weeks

* V E N E Z U E L A *

OPCO: To Settle Plant's Debts Before Handing It Back to CVG
TELSCAPE: ATSI Provides Update on Acquisition


=================
A R G E N T I N A
=================

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Sepi to Conclude Sale by Month's End,
Early Oct.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
------
Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (Sepi) expects
to complete the sale of its 92.1 stake in Aerolineas Argentinas
by end-September or early-October at the latest, AFX-Europe
reported Friday. According to Infrastructure Minister Carlos
Bastos, Sepi has already shortlisted the bids for Aerolineas
Argentinas and Austral units headed by businessmen Juan Carlos
Pellegrini and Enrique Pescarmona. The Spanish company continues
negotiations with all four bidders pre-selected last month. These
also include Spain's Marsans and an unidentified US investment
fund.


EL SITIO: Shareholders Approve Merger With Ibero-American Media
Partners
-----------------------------------------------------------------
-------
El Sitio, Inc. (Nasdaq: LCTOD)* announced Friday that its
shareholders approved the company's merger with Ibero-American
Media Partners II, Ltd. ("IAMP") to form Claxson Interactive
Group Inc. ("Claxson") at a shareholders meeting held this
morning in Buenos Aires.

El Sitio reported that more than 99% of its shareholders who
voted at the meeting voted in favor of combining with IAMP to
create Claxson, a multi-platform new media company that will
provide integrated, branded entertainment content targeted to
Spanish and Portuguese speakers around the world. Under the terms
of the combination agreement, each El Sitio common share will be
exchanged for one new Class A common share of Claxson. The
combined company will have approximately 18.5 million Class A
common shares outstanding. The transaction is expected to close
by the end of September 2001. Subject to final approval by Nasdaq
of Claxson's listing application, Claxson's Class A common shares
are expected to begin trading on The Nasdaq National Market under
the symbol "XSON" on the trading day following the closing.

* Due to the 1-for-10 reverse share split effective as of August
22, 2001, Sitio's common shares are trading under the symbol
"LCTOD" for an interim period of approximately 20 trading days.  
At the end of that period, El Sitio's common shares will resume
trading under the symbol
"LCTO."

CONTACT: Press - Jennifer Gery of Brainerd Communicators, Inc.,
         +1-212-986-6667, gery@braincomm.com; or Investors - Jeff
         Majtyka, majtyka@braincomm.com, or Leonardo Santiago,
         santiago@braincomm.com, both of Brainerd Communicators,
         Inc., +1-212-986-6667, all for El Sitio, Inc.

To see company's latest financial statements:
http://www.bankrupt.com/misc/El_Sition.pdf


EPEC/EPESF: Governments to Delay Privatization
----------------------------------------------
In response to request made by prospective bidders, the
governments of Argentina's Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces have
postponed the privatization of their respective electricity
utilities, Epec and Epesf, Business News Americas disclosed
Friday. Cordoba will open technical offers for Epec on September
20, 10 days later than planned. The Epec delay has a knock-on
effect on the Epesf privatization because under terms of an
agreement between Cordoba governor Jose Manuel de La Sota and his
Santa Fe counterpart Carlos Reuteman, the Epesf sale will only
start once the Epec sale is completed. Fears that Argentina's
government will default on its US$130 billion debt, compounded
with the country's shaky economic situation, has led to
considerable speculation about the success of the two
privatization processes.


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

CVRD: Laager to Head Logistics Executive Office
-----------------------------------------------
CVRD (Companhia Vale do Rio Doce) Chairman Roger Agnelli informed
that the company's logistics executive office will now be headed
by Mr. Guilherme Laager, Ambev logistics officer, O Globo
reported Friday. Mr. Laager's post will be taken over by Mr.
Mozart Litwinskz. The logistics office is in charge of CVRD's
transportation structure through where the company transports 116
million m tons per year. The sale of services for third parties
represented R$712 million to CVRD in 2000. The company expects a
turnover of R$1 billion in 2001.


EBSE: Privatization Yields Good Results
---------------------------------------
EBSE (Empresa Brasileira de Solda Eletrica), which was privatized
last year, managed to pay off almost all of its debts, with sales
at $30 million, against last year's R$11 million, Valor Economico
reported Wednesday. MBE Participacoes, which acquired 51 percent
stake in the company in September 2000, attributed good
performance to a change in focus, emphasizing quality over
quantity. MPE is proposing to increase EBSE's capital by R$5.1
million in order to manage the remaining debt and to make further
investments in personnel and equipment. The company does not have
plans for great growth, preferring to continue with the strategy
of pulling the company out of the red, focusing mainly on the oil
and energy sectors, which account for 70 percent of its current
orders.


GLOBO CABO: Moody's Revised Ratings Outlook
-------------------------------------------
Globo Cabo SA's ratings outlook has been revised to negative by
Moody's Investors Service, AFX-Europe said Thursday, However, the
ratings agency affirmed its current B3 rating for the company's
senior notes. The company's senior implied rating is B3, and
Globo Cabo's senior unsecured issuer rating is Caa1.

According to Moody's, the rating outlook change primarily
incorporates its heightened concerns about the company's exposure
to the difficult Brazilian economy, including local recessionary
and high interest rate conditions and material currency
devaluation. It also warned that the situation is likely to be
further exacerbated if macroeconomic conditions in the broader
Latin American region worsen.

Moody's also noted its concerns about the company's liquidity
position and short-term refinancing needs, notwithstanding the
successful recent initiatives and financing activities to improve
this critical credit area.

But while Globo Cabo is a strong competitor within the Brazilian
pay television sector, Moody's said it is concerned with the
potential negative effects that continued economic weakness could
have upon the company's performance. It noted the slowdown has
already resulted in the company lowering its earnings estimates,
adding that the actual results may be reduced even more than the
recently revised guidance levels.

It said further increases in churn over that evidenced during the
second quarter would exert further negative pressure on the
ratings.

Moody's said it is also important to consider the impact of
electricity rationing on TV usage and the overall economy.

The agency said it is also concerned about Globo Cabo's continued
foreign exchange exposure.


GLOBO CABO: Rolls Out Red Carpet For New Officer
------------------------------------------------
Paid TV network Globo Cabo disclosed it has a new officer in the
person of Mr. Luiz Antonio Viana, who left BR Distribuidora,
Jornal do Commercio informed Friday. Vianna will be replacing Mr.
Moyses Pluciennick and will take over the company's
administration in the wake of its restructuring, which resulted
to the dismissal of 1,600 employees.

GloboCabo has R$1.5 billion in debt and announced a cut of 25
percent on its 2001 investments. With almost 1.5 million
subscribers, GloboCabo operates in 67 cities and more than 6
million residencies.


MOULINEX-BRANDT: Failure in Negotiations Leads to Bankruptcy
Filing
-----------------------------------------------------------------
--
French-Italian household equipment maker Moulinex-Brandt
announced on Friday it had filed for bankruptcy, Agence France
Presse revealed in a report. Chief executive Patrick Puy
disclosed that the administration took the decision to file for
bankruptcy after the failure of negotiations with the main
shareholder, Italian group El.Fi, on a financial plan.

Puy said El.Fi failed to "keep its commitments" for a $312
million rescue package. Family-run El.Fi had backed Moulinex's
restructuring until August, however, it was reconsidering its
commitment.

El.Fi's share of the package amounted to $89 million.

"El.Fi bought a magnificent company that was in ruins," Puy said
of Moulinex. "How could they think they could restructure
Moulinex without injecting any money into it?"

A restructuring plan, part of the rescue effort, called for the
elimination of 4,000 jobs worldwide, 1,500 of them in France.

El.Fi bought a 74.3 percent stake in Moulinex last year and
merged the company with its own domestic appliance unit, Brandt,
which makes larger appliances like washing machines and
dishwashers.

The company had filed for bankruptcy for its Moulinex and Brandt
operations and subsidiaries. The commercial court of Nanterre,
outside Paris, put Moulinex in receivership for a six-month
period, naming two lawyers as receivers to assess operations and
find ways to rescue the company.

The group, which employs about 20,000 people and has interests in
11 countries from China to Brazil, had debt of 766 million euros
(685.7 million dollars) at the end of 2000.
  

MOULINEX-BRANDT: El.Fi Refutes Reports
--------------------------------------
Contrary to reports, El.Fi said it has never interfered with the
management of its unit or its negotiations with its banks, AFX-
Europe reported Friday.

"It has never managed relations with Moulinex' banks or even less
has it signed any agreements, in any capacity, with the banking
institutions," El.Fi said in a statement.

However, El.Fi said the conditions, which it had presented to the
Moulinex board on July 23 for its participation in a possible
Moulinex capital hike, "unfortunately have not been met,
particularly with regard to the conditions imposed by the banks."

El.Fi said its first concern is for Moulinex' staff, clients,
suppliers and its local community, but added it will pursue its
own interests as a shareholder. This also means identifying the
"subjective responsibilities" which have led to the current
crisis situation at Moulinex, it said.


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

ENERSIS: Pushes For Clear Vertical Integration Rules
----------------------------------------------------
Enersis, a Chilean power holding company, is urging authorities
to define right away regulations on the vertical integration in
the electricity sector as clearly as possible, according to a
company source in a Business News Americas report Friday edition.

"The company wants to know the rules it must follow, since the
antitrust commission is questioning the vertical integration of
Enersis, which indicates the ambiguity and lack of clarity on
this subject," the source said.

Enersis has been under the commission's investigation for its
vertical integration for over two years now. The commission has
issued a precautionary measure prohibiting the sale of Endesa
Chile shares by Enersis and stipulating the companies must have
different directors and auditors. Enersis, through Endesa Chile
and Chilectra, is present in the generation and distribution
sectors, and until last year, was also in the transmission sector
through Transelec. However, it sold Transelec and withdrew from
transmission.

"We sold Transelec to comply with the regulation issued by the
authorities, but we have not done the same in the case of the
distribution and for this reason we urgently want clear
regulations," the source said.

As the antitrust process has been stalled for more than a year,
Enersis last month asked this body to lift its precautionary
measure to give the holding complete autonomy in the control of
its companies. However, the antitrust commission turned down the
request. Nevertheless, this led to progress in the process and
"we have now reached the hearing stage, which will be held next
Wednesday, September 12," the source said.


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

ACNET ENTITIES: Murdock Communications Corp. Announces Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Murdock Communications Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: MURC and
MURCW) (the "Company") announced Thursday a Compromise Settlement
Agreement and Full and Final Release (the "Agreement") with
Intercarrier Transport Corporation, Ashton Communications
Corporation, AcNet USA, Entree 1P de Mexico, S. de R. L. de C.V.,
formerly known as AcNet S.A. de C.V., and any and all of their
national or international predecessors, successors, and/or
affiliated entities (collectively, the "AcNet Entities").

The Company commenced legal action against the AcNet Entities in
April 2000 in Iowa state court to collect on loans made to the
AcNet Entities in 1998 and 1999 and the related interest. On
March 29, 2001, AcNet USA filed for bankruptcy protection and the
Company was informed that AcNet Mexico was in receivership. On
May 31, 2001, the AcNet Entities filed a motion with the Iowa
state court seeking permission to untimely file a counter-claim
against the Company, and asking for damages against the Company
of approximately $20 million plus punitive damages.

Under the terms of the Agreement, the AcNet Entities paid a
nominal consideration to the Company and both parties exchanged
Full and Final Releases on all claims against the other party.


GAM: Bancomext to Treat Debt in a Normal Way
--------------------------------------------
Grupo Azucarero Mexcio (GAM), one of the four Mexican sugar
producers to have their refineries expropriated by the federal
government, owes Bancomext more than 42 million dollars, revealed
Bancomext CEO Jose Luis Romero Hicks in a Mexico City daily
Reforma report released Thursday. The bank will continue to treat
the debt in the same way as usual, except that now it has a new
owner, he said.

"The bank doesn't need any negotiation or renegotiation of
payment dates, because we have acted under the mandate of Sagarpa
(the Agriculture ministry). Each of the payments has its own
time, and we expect that this portfolio with GAM will be
recovered quickly for the good of the bank," he said.


SL INDUSTRIES: Announces Sale of SL Waber
-----------------------------------------
SL Industries Inc. (NYSE:SL)(PHLX:SL) announced Friday the sale
of its SL Waber business unit to Tripp Lite -- a world leader in
the manufacture of power protection equipment.

SL Waber is engaged in the design and sale of surge suppressors
and power distribution units. The company sold substantially all
of the operating assets of SL Waber and the stock of SL Waber's
Mexican subsidiary, Waber de Mexico, for cash and future
contingent cash payments.

As a result, the company will record an additional non-cash
impairment of asset charge in the third quarter. The amount of
the additional charge, net of tax benefit, is anticipated to be
less than $1,800,000.

Owen Farren, president and chief executive officer of SL
Industries Inc., said: "The sale of SL Waber is another step in
the company's restructuring plans in response to the sudden
slowdown in the telecommunications industry.

"Last year SL Waber implemented a new business plan, which
involved exiting the low-margin mass merchandise market and
concentrating on higher margin sales to electronics distributors
and original equipment manufacturers. Unfortunately, these
markets have been severely depressed in the current economic
environment.

"As it became clear that this downturn would be prolonged, the
company decided to sell SL Waber to reduce its overall exposure
to these markets."

Keelin Wyman, Tripp Lite executive vice president, said, "The
acquisition of SL Waber adds additional breadth to Tripp Lite's
already substantial line of surge suppressors and power strips.
Additionally, SL Waber's success in the OEM power distribution
(PDU) market creates many new opportunities for Tripp Lite."

Farren added: "We believe the sale of SL Waber creates a win-win
situation for all the parties. The sale will have an immediate
impact on the financial performance and cash flow of SL
Industries. In addition, SL Waber is now combined with Tripp
Lite, an excellent organization with a proven 80-year history of
market leadership focused on developing SL Waber's product
niches.

"The sale should allow Tripp Lite to diversify SL Waber's
customer base and continue to offer the quality products and
customer service that SL Waber's customers expect. We wish our
former employees well with their new careers at Tripp Lite."

About SL Industries

SL Industries Inc. designs, manufactures and markets Power and
Data Quality (PDQ) equipment and systems for industrial, medical,
aerospace and consumer applications. For more information about
SL Industries Inc. and its products, visit the company's Web site
at www.SLpdq.com.

CONTACT: SL Industries Inc.
    Owen Farren, 856/727-1500
    www.SLpdq.com
    or
    Neil Berkman Associates
    Neil Berkman/Melanie Beeler, 310/277-5162
    (Investor Relations)


=================
N I C A R A G U A
=================

ENITEL: Supreme Court to Decide Sale's Legality in Two Weeks
------------------------------------------------------------
The ruling regarding the legality of the August 31 privatization
of telco Enitel will be decided by Nicaragua's Supreme Court in
the next two weeks, according to Enitel chairman Salvador
Quintanilla in a Business News Americas report released Friday.

On September 5, a lower court upheld an injunction filed by
Managua mayor Herty Lewites against the sale, at which Swedish-
Honduran consortium Telia AB Swedtel/EMCE won a 40 percent stake
in Enitel with an US$83.2-million bid. A week prior to the sale,
judge Napoleon Sanchez ordered the seizure of Enitel's assets at
Lewites' request over US$28 million in alleged back taxes owed to
Managua City.

"All previous injunctions filed by Mr. Lewites have been rejected
by the Supreme Court. There are always judges of a single
(political) tendency, which has led to us resorting to the
Supreme Court," Quintanilla said.

Telia Swedtel/EMCE representative Oswaldo Quiroga said: "The
important thing is we have the support of the international
community. Our decision to invest US$83 million in Nicaragua is a
signal to the world that it's possible to do business and invest
in Nicaragua."

But still, the consortium is studying contingency plans in case
the sale falls through.


=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================

OPCO: To Settle Plant's Debts Before Handing It Back to CVG
-----------------------------------------------------------
Opco, which is currently beset with difficulties due to weak
international steel markets, must settle first the outstanding
obligations of its hot-briquetted iron plant before returning it
to the Venezuelan state heavy industry holding CVG. In a Business
News Americas Friday report, a company spokesperson revealed that
workers at the plant, also known as Minorca, are now demanding
CVG to find a solution as soon as possible, claiming Opco owes
them money.

"Now they are at home on half pay. The workers are demanding
payoffs or a return to work on full pay," the CVG official said.
"CVG signed a contract with Opco to rent out the briquette plant,
which expires in December 2005." The contract prevents Opco
(Operaciones al Sur del Orinoco), a subsidiary of Japan's Kobe
Steel, from laying off the workers.

Ferrominera Orinoco, CVG's iron ore division through which the
plant was rented out, says it is owed millions of dollars by Opco
for iron ore supplies accumulated since 1998.

Decisions at Opco must be taken by its administrators and Kobe
Steel, CVG president Rafael Sanchez Marquez said, "because,
despite the existence of a negotiating committee formed by CVG
and Ferrominera Orinoco, no agreement has yet been reached" to
resolve the problems.

Should Minorca be handed back to CVG early, the contract also
stipulates it would have to be in operation. At present it is
only operating at a nominal rate.


TELSCAPE: ATSI Provides Update on Acquisition
---------------------------------------------
ATSI Communications Inc. (AMEX:AI) announced Friday that in
anticipation of finalizing the sale of the Telscape Houston-based
Teleport assets, ATSI and the Bankruptcy Trustee have signed an
Interim Operating Agreement, allowing ATSI to manage the
facilities, invoice customers and otherwise maintain service for
Telscape's Houston-based Teleport customers.

The Interim Operating Agreement is subject to Bankruptcy Court
approval.

Telscape's Houston-based Teleport assets to be sold include
telecommunications equipment, accounts receivable and the related
corporate customer base that extends into Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and  
Venezuela.

CONTACT:  
ATSI Communications Inc., San Antonio
Karen R. Mella, 210/547-1000
kmella@atsi.net

                                     *********

       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 and Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche, Editors.

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

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