TCRLA_Public/011101.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, November 1, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 214



FARGO SA: Exxel To Expand; Talks With Bimbo Over Sale Or Merger
TELEFONICA HOLDING: Negotiationg With Bondholders November 12


CVRD: Reitereates Power Generation One Of Core Businesses
CVRD: Still In The Running For Copel Control
CVRD: Joint Acquisition of CAEMI Approved
CVRD: Informs CVM And Bourse Of Share Repurchase Plans
GLOBO CABO: Shares Fall On Expectation Of Poor Results
VARIG: Should Survive Atraxis Cash Crisis Unharmed


EDELNOR: Posts Wider 3Q01 Net Loss
TELEX: To Release Names Of Bidders Early November


AVIANCA: Poor Results Within Expectations, Analysts Say


BANRURAL: Disgruntled Retirees File Suit Over Low Pensions
GRUPO MEXICO: 3Q01 Results Show Lower Sales and EBITDA
SAVIA: Seminis Preliminary 4QFY01 Results Show Improvement
TRI-NATIONAL: Mexican Property May Pave Exit From Chapter 11


ANTELCO/CORPOSANA: Reform Secretary Defends Privatization Plan

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

YORK RESEARCH: Defaults on Bonds; Selling $140M Trinidad Project

     - - - - - - - - - - -


FARGO SA: Exxel To Expand; Talks With Bimbo Over Sale Or Merger
The Exxel Group is planning to invest US$8 million next year for
the expansion of its Argentine bread producer, Compania de
Alimento Fargo, in the traditional bread (French bread) market to
restore its leadership in the sliced bread business, La Nacion

Under its plan the funds will be used mainly to increase the
production capacity of the frozen bread manufacturing company.
French-style bread represents 95 percent of bread consumption in
Argentina while sliced bread represents 5 percent.

At the moment, of the US$137 million turned over by Fargo, 75
percent of sales correspond to the sliced bread business where
the company's three brands (Fargo, Lactal and Sacaan) control
56.1 percent of sales. The other 25 percent is generated by sweet
products (10 percent) and French bread (15 percent).

Meanwhile, Exxel is in talks with Mexico's Grupo Industrial
Bimbo, the world's third largest producer of bread, over the sale
or merger of its bread company Fargo.

TELEFONICA HOLDING: Negotiationg With Bondholders November 12
Telefonica Holding de Argentina SA, formerly known as CEI
Citicorp Holdings SA, scheduled a new bondholders meeting for
November 12 after it failed to obtain a quorom Tuesday, AFX-
Europe said in a report.

Accordingly, the company is asking bondholders to waive debt
payments, including restrictions on debt and disposal of assets,
and business with affiliates in the context of a capital
reduction of 95.27 million pesos.


CVRD: Reitereates Power Generation One Of Core Businesses
In accordance with the strategic guidelines stated in the press
release of October 25, 2001, Corporate Governance and Strategic
Guidelines, power generation is one of the core businesses of
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (NYSE: RIOpr) (CVRD).

CVRD is currently involved in eight hydro-electric power plant
projects, based on rigorous criteria of economic analysis aimed
at creating shareholder value.

Thus, the Company qualified to participate in the privatization
auction of Companhia Paranaense de Energia (COPEL) through a
special purpose company. CVRD's specific objective was to
participate in COPEL's electricity generation assets through
partnerships with investors interested in its other assets.

After completion of studies and negotiations with other
investors, CVRD concluded that, at the minimum price fixed for
the privatization of COPEL, it is not possible to fulfill its
return requirements. Therefore, CVRD informs that it will not
participate in the auction.

The Company will continue to search for other investment options
in power generation, following its strategic guidelines.

CONTACT:  Roberto Castello Branco:

          Andreia Reis:

          Barbara Geluda:

          Daniela Tinoco:

CVRD: Still In The Running For Copel Control
An unnamed spokeswoman from Cia. Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD)
contradicted reports that the iron ore producer would not bid for
Cia. Paranaense de Energia (Copel) Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

According to the company source, the Brazilian iron ore producer
is still in talks to form a partnership to bid for Copel,
Brazil's second largest integrated utility.

CVRD, Belgium's Tractebel SA and Brazil's industrial group
Votorantim are holding talks in order to present a joint bid for
89 percent of Copel's voting shares, which Parana state will try
to auction for at least 5.07 billion reais ($1.9 billion).

Contenders were required to deposit 400 million reais in
financial guarantees Tuesday at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange's
clearing house in order to take part in the bidding.

CVRD and Votorantim have asked Parana state to postpone the sale
in order to complete negotiations for a joint bidding.

CVRD: Joint Acquisition of CAEMI Approved
The European Commission in Brussels approved Tuesday the joint
acquisition by Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (NYSE: RIOpr) (CVRD)
and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) of the Brazilian mining concern
CAEMI Mineracao e Metalurgia S.A. (Caemi). Once the transaction
is completed, CVRD and Mitsui will each own 50% of Caemi's voting

CVRD welcomes the European Commission's decision to approve the
transaction. Commenting on the decision, Roger Agnelli, Chief
Executive Officer of CVRD, said: "CVRD is delighted that the
European Commission has recognized the positive impact that this
transaction will have for iron ore customers."

The European Commission cleared the transaction on the basis of
an undertaking to divest Caemi's joint holding in Quebec Cartier
Mining Company (QCM), a Canadian iron ore and pellet producer.
This undertaking addresses the only competition concerns
identified by the European Commission.

Caemi is a Brazilian company, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro,
that holds equity investments in iron ore, kaolin, refractory
bauxite and railroad transportation.

CVRD: Informs CVM And Bourse Of Share Repurchase Plans
Mining group CVRD informed Brazil's financial market regulator
(CVM) and the Bovespa stock exchange of its plans to buy back 10
percent of preferred shares and 5 percent of common shares,
Gazeta Mercantil reported Tuesday.

Accordingly, the Brazilian company issued a statement to CVM and
the bourse that it plans to repurchase up to 13.7 million class A
preferred shares and 5 million common shares. CVRD's market
relations board said that the measure is routine.

CVRD is following the trend of many companies with a sizeable
presence on the Brazilian stock market, such as Embratel,
Bradesco, Unibanco and Itaubanco, which have all announced plans
to buy back shares.

GLOBO CABO: Shares Fall On Expectation Of Poor Results
Shares at the Brazilian cable TV operator Globo Cabo SA fell 5.9
percent on expectation of weaker financial results, according to
a report Tuesday in Bloomberg.

The company was expected to release operating results for the
third quarter Wednesday and financial numbers on November 12,
BBVA Securities said in a report.

The bank estimates Globo Cabo sales reached $109.9 million last
quarter. That represents a 10.5 percent drop compared to the
second-quarter and a 26.1 percent decline compared with the same
period a year ago.

VARIG: Should Survive Atraxis Cash Crisis Unharmed
Atraxis, Swissair Group AG's computer reservations subsidiary,
announced that Brazilian airline Varig and Dubai-based airline
Emirates would not be affected by a cash crisis that could
threaten Atraxis operations, AFX-Europe reported.

"As opposed to the information erroneously published yesterday,
Varig and Emirates are licence customers with own copies of the
systems provided by Atraxis -- in the event of a system stoppage
in Zurich these customers would be completely unaffected,"
Atraxis said Tuesday in a statement.

An Atraxis spokeswoman announced earlier this week that the
company urgently needed 50 million Swiss francs to keep operating
until the end of November and that companies which depend on its
reservations systems could be severely affected.


EDELNOR: Posts Wider 3Q01 Net Loss
Empresa Electrica del Norte Grande S.A. (EDELNOR) reported a loss
of Ch$44.9 billion through third quarter 2001, compared to a loss
of Ch$2.8 billion for the same period of 2000. Results were
negatively impacted by a non-cash monetary correction adjustment
(price level restatement) required under Chilean accounting rules
in the amount of Ch$41.0 billion.

(Had EDELNOR reported its results in U.S. dollars using U.S.
accounting rules rather than Chilean rules, net income would have
been a loss of US$10.0 million for the period compared to a gain
of US$7.6 million for the same period in 2000).

Revenues through third quarter 2001 decreased 8.7 percent to
Ch$43.8 billion, compared with Ch$48.0 billion for the same
period in 2000, and sales decreased 14.1 percent from 1,866 GWh
to 1,603 GWh.

The company's operating income decreased to Ch$(0.6) billion,
compared with Ch$3.2 billion for the same period of 2000.
Operating income was affected primarily by decreased operating
revenues due to the termination of the Escondida contract, and
increased operating costs, mainly due to gas transportation
associated with the operation of Mejillones III.

EDELNOR has three main central generating units located in the
town of Mejillones in addition to several smaller diesel and
hydro facilities in the first and second regions of Northern
Chile. The company's Mejillones I unit is a coal-fired facility
with a maximum capacity of 166 megawatts and through third
quarter 2001, the unit operated with 95.1 percent equivalent
availability and a 23.5 percent capacity factor. The company's
Mejillones II unit is a coal-fired facility with a maximum
capacity of 175 megawatts, which operated with 87.3 percent
equivalent availability and a 44.7 percent capacity factor for
the nine-month period. The company's Mejillones III unit, which
began commercial operation on June 17, 2000, is a gas-fired
combined cycle facility with a maximum capacity of 250 megawatts.
This unit operated with 95.9 percent equivalent availability and
a 66.7 percent capacity factor. During 2001, all of the units in
the Interconnected System of the Great North (SING) have been
limited to an output of 180 megawatts and the capacity factor of
Unit III has been calculated using that maximum.

On August 06, 2001, the Comision Regional del Medio Ambiente
(COREMA) of the second region issued the resolution approving a
provisional authorization for EDELNOR to burn mixtures of petcoke
and coal in one of its units at Mejillones. The authorization
does not set specific mixtures, but limits emissions to agreed-
upon standards for SO2, nickel plus arsenic and vanadium. This
provisional authorization has been challenged by several third
parties and could be overturned. If not overturned, the
provisional authorization will be in effect until COREMA rules on
the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) filed by the Company on June
7, 2001. If that is approved, the units will have long-term fuel
flexibility. No date has been set for that decision or the ruling
on the challenge of the provisional authorization.

EDELNOR owns 21.1 percent of Gasoducto Nor Andino, a natural gas
pipeline company which brings gas to northern Chile from

EDELNOR is 82 percent owned by Mirant Chile, a subsidiary of
Mirant Corp. The remainder is traded on the Chilean stock

To see company's financial statement:

CONTACT:  Jason Cuevas of EDELNOR, +1-678-579-6017

TELEX: To Release Names Of Bidders Early November
Telex expects to announce early this month the names of the
companies, which will bid for its assets, despite the fact that
it has not yet set the selling price for the assets nor how they
will be sold, Estrategia reported.

Among the companies expressing interest are: GTD, Teleductos,
Manquehue Net and Southern Cross Funds.

Telex said that it is looking for a corporate partner (or more
than one) that would reinforce the company financially.

Telex is also following the judicial process that established two
different commissions for the company's assets sale: one for
international assets, grouped under Texcom, and the other for
Telex assets in Chile.


AVIANCA: Poor Results Within Expectations, Analysts Say
Avianca, Colombia's largest airline, registered a loss of 258.8
billion pesos ($112 million) in the first nine months of the
year, with losses increasing as expected compared with the same
period a year ago, Reuters said in a report. The airline posted a
loss of 201.6 billion pesos ($87 million) in the first nine
months of 2000.

But according to analysts, the poor result was in line with the
expectations, considering the company's long running financial
troubles and the added burden of a downturn in global demand for
air travel following the terrorist attacks in the United States.

"Looking at the fundamentals, this result makes sense," said one
Bogota-based analyst who declined to be named. "I would expect
them (Avianca officials) to come out soon with some kind of
announcement on how they are going (cut costs) to manage this
situation," he added.

Avianca has forecast losses of about $171 million for 2001.

The airline is part of the struggling Valores Bavaria
conglomerate controlled by Colombian businessman Julio Mario
Santo Domingo. The conglomerate has also been strapped for cash
this year. The group, which controls around 100 companies in
sectors including aviation, beverages, telecommunications and
petrochemicals, announced in September that its brewer Bavaria
would cut 12 percent of its work force and half of its plants.


BANRURAL: Disgruntled Retirees File Suit Over Low Pensions
Retirees of the National Rural Credit Bank (Banrural) filed a
suit against the bank claiming that for the past 15 years, their
pensions have deteriorated by 80 percent, compared to the
salaries of current active employees, Mexico City daily Reforma
reported Tuesday.

"They aren't giving them the raises referred to in some of the
articles, and so some retirees are taking legal action against
the bank. If the retirees win, the institution will have to
adjust the pensions and pay them for the two years since the date
of the law suit," said Banrural Employees' and Retirees'
Association President Enrique Munoz Ruiz.

"These suits sometimes last three years, and we wouldn't like to
continue in this way. That's why we're in talks with the bank's
new administration to resolve these problems," he said.

GRUPO MEXICO: 3Q01 Results Show Lower Sales and EBITDA
Grupo Mexico informed its net loss in the third quarter narrowed
to $46.995 million from $70.016 million in the previous year,
with net sales falling 26.6 percent to $695.934 million from
$948.587 million, according to an AFX-Europe report.

The company attributed the drop in sales to lower metal market
prices and to lower volumes sold.

Third quarter EBITDA fell 46.5 percent to $81.114 million from
$151.676 million a year earlier, with net financing costs rising
slightly to $62.186 million from $61.971 million.

Grupo Mexico said its 9 months net loss widened to $89.701
million from $64.005, with sales falling 15.0 percent to $2.241
billion from $2.637 billion.

Nine months EBITDA fell 18.9 percent to $360.127 million from
$444.083 million, with net financing costs falling 3.8 percent to
$184.858 million from $192.181 million.

The figures include the operations of Americas Mining
Corporation, Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano, and Infraestructura y
Transportes Mexico, which consolidate the results of the
operating companies Minera Mexico, ASARCO, Southern Peru Copper
Corp and Ferromex.

The group said it is currently negotiating with banks and
investors in order to obtain better conditions more in accordance
with current needs.

Grupo Mexico's debt as of September 30 totaled $3.222 billion,
with cash in banks $555.2 million, which is equivalent to net
debt of $2.667 billion.

CONTACT:          Grupo Mexico
                  Clay Allen, 602/977-6515

SAVIA: Seminis Preliminary 4QFY01 Results Show Improvement
In a company press release, Seminis, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMNS), the
world's leading developer, producer and marketer of vegetable and
fruit seeds, announced October 26 preliminary results for the
three-month period ended September 30, 2001.


Net sales for the fourth quarter were $110.7 million compared to
$92.3 million during the same period last year. Excluding
divested non-core business sales of $1.9 million and $1.1 million
in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2000 and 2001, respectively,
and a $4.1 million negative currency impact against the U.S.
dollar, sales for the fourth quarter increased 26 percent, from
$90.4 million to $113.7 million.


Gross profit was $67.2 million and $20.4 million for the fourth
quarter of fiscal year 2001 and 2000, respectively. Excluding
non-recurring charges for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2000,
gross profit increased by 29 percent from $52.0 million last year
to $67.2 million in 2001. The gross margin improved to 61 percent
from 56 percent, on an adjusted basis.


Operating expenses reflected a 22% improvement when compared to
last year. Operating expenses decreased $18.1 million in the
fourth quarter from $82.2 million in 2000 to $64.1 million this
year. The controls and actions implemented during the year have
positively impacted the quarterly results.


Seminis had operating income of $3.1 million for the quarter,
compared with a loss of $61.8 million for the same period last
year. For the first time this year, the Company is reflecting a
normal level of operating results that are not affected by non-
recurring charges.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
(EBITDA) for the quarter, excluding restructuring and non-
recurring charges, were $16.6 million, compared to a loss of $6.7
million for the same quarter last year.


During the fourth quarter, the Company posted a net loss of $6.6
million, positively compared with a loss of $61.9 million for the
same period last year.


The Company continues to comply with 80.2 million in 2001,
reflecting a 16 percent decrease. Accounts receivable were $144.5
million at the end of September 2001, which was an 11 percent
decrease compared to $162.9 million in the prior year. In October
2001 the Company completed the sale of its non-strategic asset in
Korea and collected the $20.6 million other receivable
outstanding at September 30, 2001. The management initiatives put
in place during this year have positively impacted the year-end

The Company will provide expanded comments on its annual results
at a later date.


During the quarter, some organizational changes were made. Mr.
Oscar Velasco, was appointed as President of the Asian region and
Mr. Salvador Alanis was named as Strategic Support Vice
President, responsible for quality assurance, market engineering,
customer service and value capture activities.

About Seminis

Seminis (Nasdaq: SMNS) is the largest developer, producer and
marketer of vegetable seeds in the world. The Company uses seeds
as the delivery vehicle for innovative agricultural technology.
Its products are designed to reduce the need for agricultural
chemicals, increase crop yield, reduce spoilage, offer longer
shelf life, and create better tasting foods and foods with better
nutritional content. Seminis has established a worldwide presence
and global distribution network that spans 120 countries. Seminis
is a majority owned subsidiary of Savia (NYSE: VAI), a Mexico-
based leading conglomerate.

CONTACT:  Enrique Osorio, +1-805-918-2233, or
          or Dieter Holtz, +1-805-918-2233, or   
          both of Seminis, Inc.

TRI-NATIONAL: Mexican Property May Pave Exit From Chapter 11
Bankrupt San Diego-based Tri-National Development Corp. believes
that the property it owns in northern Mexico near the Pacific
Coast is valuable enough to help it exit Chapter 11 protection in
less than six months, The Daily Deal reported.

Accordingly, its one-time business partner, Senior Care
Industries Inc., thinks the land is worth enough for it to make
a hostile bid for 51 percent of Tri-National.

Ultimately, Tri-National's creditors should be made whole if the
value of the undeveloped land falls between the company's
assessment and that of local brokers.

Tri-National owes Capital Trust, its senior lender, $8 million,
and unsecured creditors hold $11.3 million in claims. The company
has said that selling the land is central to repaying Capital
Trust and other claimants in the bankruptcy.

Tri-National, in a statement, revealed that brokerage Cushman &
Wakefield appraised 300 of those acres at $23,333 per acre in

"A lot of the property does have views of the ocean, plus a lot
of foreign buyers will be attracted to the fact that the land
will carry U.S. title insurance," said Jason Sunstein, a Tri-
National vice president and the son of the company's founder,
Michael Sunstein.

When Sunstein says they all will "absolutely" be repaid, it's
hardly a stretch. If the Cushman appraisal is correct, that's
almost $7 million right there.

However, others seem to think differently.

"It's on the east side of a toll road," Rob Hickson, a senior
vice president of the San Diego offices of CB Richard Ellis, said
about Tri-National's 600-acre parcel, which isn't on the ocean
but across from a residential and golf development that is. "It
can't be worth that much."

To see company's financial statements:

CONTACT:  Tri-National Development Corp.
          Jason Sunstein, 619/718-6370, Fax 619/718-6377


ANTELCO/CORPOSANA: Reform Secretary Defends Privatization Plan
State Reform Secretary Juan Ernesto Villamayor deemed the attack
on the Paraguayan government's efforts at privatization a "dirty
war," EFE reported Tuesday.

According to him, legislators were converting the "ideological
debate" over the proposed privatization of the state-run
telephone company, Antelco, and the water supply firm, Corposana,
into a "dirty war."

The period following Antelco's takeover saw "the best
administration of public companies in the history of the
republic," Villamayor said.

The secretary added that bribery had been the reason for "the
under-the-table distribution of the profits and the unnecessary

"Naturally, many groups who benefited from these practices are
defending their interests," Villamayor said, refuting claims of
irregularities since the takeover.

The official said Antelco, which lost $8.7 million last year and
has paid heavy debts during the current fiscal year, has $21.8
million in cash on hand and may be able to cover its payroll
obligations to its employees.

"Why is there money? Simply because some totally unnecessary
contracts were suspended. There were many people involved in
these contracts (providing services and a wide range of products)
who are now upset," Villamayor said.

The secretary said, however, the positive results since the
takeover do not warrant a suspension of the privatization
process, since firms such as Antelco still need to modernize and
increase the efficiency of their services.

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

YORK RESEARCH: Defaults on Bonds; Selling $140M Trinidad Project
In an official press release, York Research Corporation (Nasdaq:
YORK) ("York") announced that the $10,345,000 payment due Tuesday
under the terms of the $150,000,000 12% Senior Secured Bonds due
October 30, 2007 issued by York Power Funding (Cayman) Limited
(the "Portfolio Bonds") would not be made. Failure to make this
payment on or before November 9, 2001, constitutes an Event of
Default under the Portfolio Bonds allowing the trustee to
exercise remedies against the collateral for the Portfolio Bonds.
The collateral for the Portfolio Bonds consists of York's
interest in its Trinidad Project, Big Spring Project, Brooklyn
Navy Yard Project and Warbasse Project. In addition to this
payment default, approximately $17,500,000 generated by the
Trinidad Project over approximately the last 18 months was
advanced to York for its general corporate purposes, a violation
of the provisions of the documents governing the Portfolio Bonds.

As a result of the foregoing, Robert M. Beningson will no longer
serve as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of York
and is taking an unpaid leave of absence. Robert C. Paladino,
formerly York's Executive Vice President, has agreed to become
President and Chief Executive Officer.

York also announced that its negotiations with the creditors of
NAEC alleging claims against York had not been fruitful, and such
creditors were determining whether to file a bankruptcy petition
against York.

Separately, York announced that it had signed an agreement with a
subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. to sell its Trinidad Project for
$140,000,000. Consummation of this agreement is subject to
various conditions, including consent of the Trinidad and Tobago
Electricity Commission and the discharge of the liens of the
Portfolio Bonds. There can be no assurance that such conditions
will be satisfied. Pursuant to the terms of this agreement, if
the closing fails to occur by November 21, 2001, either York or
NRG has a right to terminate the agreement.

In connection with the foregoing, the independent directors of
York stated "We are delighted that we have someone with the
integrity and experience of Bob Paladino to take over as Chief
Executive Officer and President of York. We have complete
confidence in Bob's judgment and ability." Mr. Paladino said
"York has faced, and will continue to face, some challenges, but
the core value of its assets remains undiminished, as shown by
the contract to sell the Trinidad facility. I look forward to
overcoming these challenges and maximizing the value of York's

York develops, constructs, and operates cogeneration and
renewable energy projects, and through North American Energy
Conservation Inc., a subsidiary, markets natural gas in the
northeastern United States.

CONTACT:  Corporate Communications of York Research Corporation,

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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