TCRLA_Public/020213.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

            Wednesday, February 13, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 31



ACINDAR: Hires Credit Suisse To Aid In Debt Restructuring


GLOBAL CROSSING: Qwest Communications Receives Subpoena From SEC
GLOBAL CROSSING: Cohen, Milstein Filles Class Action Lawsuit
GLOBAL CROSSING: Berman DeValerio Announces Class Action Suit


BELL CANADA: Preliminary Prices Share Issuances Determined
EMBRAER: Canada, Brazil To Settle Subsidy Dispute In April
GLOBO CABO: S&P Lowers Ratings; Places On CreditWatch Neg
TELECOM AMERICAS: Canbras Transfers 75.6% Equity Interest To BCI


TELEFONICA CTC: Market Analysts Forecast Good Results For 2002


CHIVOR: Parent To Divest of Unprofitable Operations
PAZ DEL RIO: Sale Rumors Boost Stock Price


EMPRESAS ICA: Revenue Hinges On New Airport Contract
MEXLUB: Ex-Abaco Executive Denies Ties With Impulsora
RHI REFRACTORIES: To Close Mexican Plant By March-End


CHIQUITA BRANDS: Posts Better 2001 Results Under Reorganization


AEROCONTINENTE: Waits On DGA Certification To Commence Flights

     - - - - - - - - - -


ACINDAR: Hires Credit Suisse To Aid In Debt Restructuring
As part of an effort to renegotiate its liabilities, Argentine
long products steelmaker Acindar hired investment bank Credit
Suisse First Boston to help it with the task, Acindar
spokesperson Alfredo Pittaluga revealed in a Business News
Americas report.

The company's debt-renegotiation follows a December declaration
that it was postponing principal and interest payments on some
US$400 million worth of debt.

Among its creditors is the International Finance Corporation, to
whom it owes US$100 million. Another US$100 million is connected
to a bond issue and the remaining $200 million is in loans from
Brazilian and foreign banks.

According to Pittaluga, Acindar will not be able to meet a
February 15 deadline to pay interest on a negotiable security due
to its tight financial situation stemming from Argentina's
economic condition. The moratorium is temporary and is intended
to keep Acindar operating normally, he added.

"We are looking for the most feasible solution. Our sales in
December and January fell enormously, as a result of all the
economic and political problems in the country," Pittaluga said.
In January the company's sales dropped 55 percent.

"I would say that today, as a result of the devaluation [of the
Argentine peso], exports are more profitable and this affords us
a better position, given that we export. Exports allow for better
credit, which would not be the case if the domestic market were
to be revitalized," he said.

CONTACTS:  Jose I. Giraudo, Investor Relations Manager.
           Acindar S.A.
           Tel. (54 11) 4719 8674

           Andrea Dala
           Investor Relations Officer
           Acindar S.A.
           (54 11) 4719 8672

           Esmeralda 130
           Piso 22
           1035 Buenos Aires
           Tel: 011 54 11 4131 2700
           Fax: 011 54 11 4131 2730

           Credit Suisse First Boston
           AVDA. Bouchard #547
           Piso 11
           Buenos Aires 1106
           Tel: 011 54 11 4312 3505


GLOBAL CROSSING: Qwest Communications Receives Subpoena From SEC
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) announced
Monday it has received a subpoena for documents concerning Global
Crossing Ltd. from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
in connection with the SEC's investigation of Global Crossing.
The company intends to cooperate fully with the SEC.

Qwest's connection to the SEC's investigation is not clear.
However, according to reports, the connection may be found in
Qwest's successful bid to acquire regional Bell operating company
U S West. In 1999, U S West agreed to be acquired by Global
Crossing, but then received a rival offer from Qwest. U S West
then backed out of its transaction with Global Crossing, invoking
a clause in the deal under which U S West was required to buy 10
percent of Global Crossing's shares at a slight premium.

For more info about Global's bankruptcy filing:

          Media, Tyler Gronbach
          Tel. +1-303-992-2155,

          INVESTORS: Lee Wolfe
          Tel. +1-800-567-7296,

GLOBAL CROSSING: Cohen, Milstein Filles Class Action Lawsuit
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. ( filed a
class action against certain Global Crossing, Ltd. ("Global
Crossing") (NYSE:GX) officers and directors in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit is brought on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased the common stock of Global Crossing between January 2,
2001 and October 4, 2001, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges certain of Global Crossing's officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The complaint alleges, among other things, that during the Class
Period defendants improperly recorded revenue on the Company's
bandwidth trading contracts, in violation of GAAP, thereby
substantially overstating earnings. It also alleges that while
the Company's shares were artificially inflated, certain
defendants engaged in heavy insider trading, selling a total of
more than $135 million of their personal shares.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of the Class and is
represented by Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. For
more information about the firm and its relevant experience,

CONTACT:     Mark S. Willis, Esq.
             Lisa Polk Cohen
             Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
             1100 New York Avenue
             N.W. West Tower, Suite 500
             Washington, D.C. 20005-3964
             Telephone: 888-240-0775 or (202) 408-4600
             E-mail: or

GLOBAL CROSSING: Berman DeValerio Announces Class Action Suit
The law firm of Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo
announced Monday that a class action lawsuit has been filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against the top officers of Global Crossing Ltd. for releasing
false and misleading financial statements to the public.

The complaint seeks damages for violations of federal securities
laws on behalf of all investors who bought Global Crossing stock
from January 2, 2001 through October 4, 2001 (the "Class

The complaint charges five top Global Crossing managers with
artificially inflating earnings by improperly recording and
reporting cash and revenue from certain long-term lease contracts
for the rights to use the company's fiber optic cable network.
Simultaneously, the complaint says, Global Crossing entered into
substantially similar agreements with the same companies to
purchase bandwidth capacity from them in a different area. In
essence, the complaint alleges that these swap transactions were
improperly recorded to artificially inflate the company's
financial results.

At the same time, the company was carrying an increasingly heavy
debt burden that was exacerbated by an ever-shrinking market for
bandwidth. This forced the company to drastically lower its
prices. The company was unable to offset the declining demand for
bandwidth capacity with the sale of customized provider services
because, unknown to investors, the defendants had no viable plan
for establishing Global Crossing as a provider of these services,
the complaint says. Also during the Class period, the complaint
says, the individual defendants and other Global Crossing
insiders generated more that US$149 million from insider stock

The full extent of Global Crossing's financial crisis began to
emerge on October 4, 2001 when the company announced that its
third quarter 2001 cash revenues were US$400 million below
expectations and that it was selling off its desktop trading
systems division. The complaint says that investors were also
stunned by the announcement that the company's expected recurring
adjusted EBITDA would fall almost $300 million less than analyst
expectation. In reaction to these statements, Global Crossing
stock plunged 49% to US$1.07 per share.

Purchasers of Global Crossing common stock during the period
January 2, 2001 through October 4, 2001, may contact the
following attorneys at Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt &
Pucillo to discuss their rights and interests:

Jeffrey C. Block, Esq.; Michael G. Lange, Esq.; and Patrick T.
Egan, Esq. at One Liberty SquareBoston, MA 02109(800) 516-9926

CONTACT:  Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo
          Patrick T. Egan, Esq.
          (800) 516-9926


BELL CANADA: Preliminary Prices Share Issuances Determined
In an official announcement, Bell Canada International Inc.
("BCI")(NASDAQ: BCICF)(TSE: BI.) reported Monday the preliminary
results of the averaging period being used to determine the
prices at which common shares will be issued pursuant to the
recapitalization plan announced by BCI on December 3, 2001. Under
the recapitalization plan, common shares will be issued upon the
automatic exercise of the principal warrants issued to BCI
shareholders who exercised their rights in the recently-completed
rights offering of BCI. In addition, common shares will be issued
in payment of the principal amount of $400 million owing under
BCI's 6.75% and 6.50% convertible debentures, and to BCE Inc.
("BCE") with respect to the conversion of the principal and
interest of approximately $78 million owing under a convertible
loan to BCI.

The weighted average price for the 20-day trading period of
January 14, 2002 to February 8, 2002, based on preliminary data
provided by the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSE") up to and
including February 8, 2002, is $0.289 per share. The final
calculation of the weighted average trading price will be
completed on Wednesday, February 13, 2002, and will reflect any
corrections relating to this period processed by the TSE
subsequent to February 8.

Based on this preliminary average price, BCI will issue
approximately 2,995 million shares to holders of principal
warrants issued in connection with BCI's rights offering,
approximately 1,455 million shares to the holders of BCI's 6.75%
and 6.50% convertible debentures, and approximately 271 million
shares to BCE with respect to the conversion of its convertible
loan to BCI. BCE's percentage ownership interest in BCI would be
approximately 62.3% after giving effect to the issuance of these
shares, all of which will take place on February 15, 2002.

The number of BCI common shares to be issued on February 15 in
connection with the transactions described above does not reflect
any shares that may be issued to American International Group,
Inc. or any of its affiliates in satisfaction of its put right
and pursuant to the exercise of the anti-dilutive secondary
warrants which were issued to BCI shareholders who exercised
their rights.

BCI, through Telecom Americas, owns and operates 4 Brazilian B
Band cellular companies serving more than 4.3 million subscribers
in territories of Brazil with a population of approximately 60
million. BCI is a subsidiary of BCE Inc., Canada's largest
communications company. BCI is listed on the TSE under the symbol
BI and on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol BCICF.
Visit our Web site at

CONTACT:  Bell Canada International Inc.
          Peter Burn (Media), Vice-President, Corporate
          TEL:  (514) 392-2357

          Bell Canada International Inc.
          Brian Quick (Investors), Vice-President, Finance
          TEL:  (514) 392-2369

          BELL CANADA - Investor Relations:
          Howard N. Hendrick, EVP and CFO
          1000, rue de La GauchetiSre Ouest
          Bureau 1100
          Montr,al (Qu,bec) Canada
          H3B 4Y8
          Telephone: (514) 392-2323

          Deloitte & Touche LLP
          1 Place Ville Marie, Suite 3000
          Montr,al (Qu,bec) Canada
          H3B 4T9
          Tel:  514-393-7115
          Fax: 514-393-7140

          Computershare Trust Company of Canada
          1800 McGill College Avenue
          Montreal (Quebec) Canada
          H3A 3K9
          Tel. (514) 982-7555 or 1 800 332-0095

          Computershare Trust Company of New York
          88 Pine Street
          19th Floor
          Wall Street Plaza
          New York, NY 10005

EMBRAER: Canada, Brazil To Settle Subsidy Dispute In April
Canada and Brazil are scheduled to meet again, possibly in early
April, after Friday's negotiations in New York failed to
culminate in a solution. The two fierce competitors in the small
jet market continue to dispute over Brazil's subsidies to Embraer
SA and Canada's subsidies to its Bombardier Inc.

Canada believes both sides would be better off if all aircraft
subsidies were eliminated, but according to Canadian
International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew, the Brazilians
appeared now to recognize that the subsidy costs were

"I am very encouraged that the foreign affairs minister, Celso
Lafer, acknowledges that the resources it costs them to support
their aircraft exports are so huge that they might be of better
use helping other industrial sectors export," Pettigrew said.

One factor that will influence the outcome of the talks is
whether Canada decides to appeal a January 28 decision by the
World Trade Organization that it broke international trade rules
by offering a C$1.7 billion ($1.1 billion) low-interest loan to
help Bombardier sell 75 aircraft to Air Wisconsin.

Canada said it offered that loan simply to bring Brazil to its
senses by matching Brazil's concessionary terms.

           Bob Sharp, Press office mgr.
           Wagner Gonzalez, Press officer
           Phone +55 12 3945 1311
           Fax + 55 12 3945 2411

GLOBO CABO: S&P Lowers Ratings; Places On CreditWatch Neg
Standard & Poor's lowered Friday its foreign and local currency
corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Globo Cabo
S.A. to single-'B'-plus from double-'B'-minus. At the same time,
the ratings were placed on CreditWatch with negative

The downgrade of Globo Cabo follows that of its controlling
shareholder, Globopar S.A.

The ratings on Globo Cabo incorporated Standard & Poor's
perception that the company was strategic to distributing content
produced at TV Globo Ltda. and Globosat, and therefore counted on
operating and financial support from Globopar, benefiting Globo
Cabo's rating. Due to Globopar's own diminished financial
flexibility, such capacity to provide support is now more

The ratings on Globo Cabo reflect the challenges of operating in
a volatile economy, as well as the company's high indebtedness
and the currency mismatch between debt and cash generation. These
weaknesses are partially offset by Globo Cabo's leading market
position in pay-TV, the favorable growth prospects for non-
traditional pay-TV services, as well as the above-mentioned
support albeit diminished from Globopar.

To reduce its vulnerability to exchange-rate fluctuations, Globo
Cabo has been working with controlling shareholders to rearrange
its capital structure. At the same time, the company is working
with bankers to resolve the refinancing of short-term maturities
with longer-term instruments. These actions should bring debt
levels more in line with the company's capacity to generate cash
and to amortize debt. Additionally, the company is implementing a
significant cost reduction plan, which includes cuts in
workforce, outsourcing, capturing of synergies with Net Sul,
renegotiation of programming contracts to include multi-year
contracts or more predictable prices, and more selective
investment decisions.

These measures have already resulted in stronger profitability in
the third quarter of 2001, when the EBITDA margin improved to
27.8% of sales, compared to 22.2% in the previous quarter. EBITDA
to interest ratio improved slightly to 1.2x. Still, overall,
financial ratios are in line with Standard & Poor's expectations,
and should remain stable, as Globo Cabo is focusing on revenue
growth from existing customers and on leveraging the usage of the
existing network.

The CreditWatch on Globo Cabo ratings will be resolved together
with the rating action taken on Globopar, which will depend on
the debt reduction strategies of Globopar.

Analyst: Milena Zaniboni, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8945; Ana
Claudia Nunes, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8956

TELECOM AMERICAS: Canbras Transfers 75.6% Equity Interest To BCI
Canbras Communications Corp. (TSE.CBC) ("Canbras" or the
"Corporation"), a leading broadband communications service
provider in Brazil, announced Monday the closing of the
reorganization plan transferring to Bell Canada International
Inc. ("BCI") the 75.6% effective equity interest in Canbras
formerly held by Telecom Americas Ltd. ("Telecom Americas").

In connection with the closing of the reorganization plan,
Canbras also announced the appointment of two new directors to
the Canbras Board and the appointment of a new Executive Director
of Financial Affairs of the Canbras group of companies (the
"Canbras Group"). These appointments were made to fill the
vacancies created by the resignations of Mr. Carlos Henrique
Moreira, the President of the Brazilian operations of Telecom
Americas and Mr. Robert Lande, the Chief Financial Officer of
Telecom Americas.

The new directors joining the Canbras Board are Mr. Renato
Ferreira Jr., the President and Chief Executive Officer of the
Canbras Group, and Mr. Robert Bouchard, Chief Operating Officer
of BCI. In addition, the position of Executive Director of
Financial Affairs of the Canbras Group, formerly held by Mr.
Robert Lande, will now be assumed by Mr. Howard Hendrick,
Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of BCI.
These appointments take effect immediately, subject to regulatory

"On behalf of the Board, I wish to express our sincere thanks to
Mr. Moreira and Mr. Lande for their valued contributions to
Canbras as directors of our company," stated Mr. Kearney,
Chairman of the Board. "I also wish to extend a warm welcome to
our two new directors, Mr. Ferreira and Mr. Bouchard."

"We are fortunate to add Mr. Ferreira Jr., President and CEO of
the Canbras Group since August 2001, to the Board, contributing
his many years of valuable knowledge and experience in Brazil as
well as with U.S. multinational companies operating in Latin
America," stated Mr. Kearney. "The appointment of Mr. Bouchard,
who brings to Canbras more than 25 years of experience in the BCE
group - including managing major international telecommunications
ventures for BCI since 1993 - will add significantly to the
Board's ability to further assist management in the direction and
growth of Canbras," Mr. Kearney added. "As well," he continued,
"now that we have completed the centralization of our management
in Brazil, we are confident that Canbras is in a better position
to continue developing the potential of its broadband
communications network."

Mr. Hendrick, a director of the Corporation since April 2001 and
Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of BCI since
January 2001, who is assuming the position of Executive Director
of Financial Affairs of the Canbras Group, brings to this role
over 25 years of financial experience in the BCE group of
companies. Prior to his appointment at BCI, he served as Vice-
President, Finance of Bell ActiMedia Inc, Chief Financial Officer
of Sympatico-Lycos and Vice-President, Investor Relations for BCE


Canbras, through the Canbras Group, is a leading broadband
communications services provider in Brazil, offering cable
television, Internet and data services in Greater Sao Paulo and
surrounding areas and the State of Parana. Canbras Communications
Corp.'s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
under the trading symbol CBC. Visit our website at

Bell Canada International Inc., a subsidiary of BCE Inc.,
Canada's largest communications company, is the indirect majority
shareholder of the Corporation. BCI owns and operates advanced
communications companies in Latin America.

CONTACT:  Canbras Group
          Howard N. Hendrick
          Executive Director of Financial Affairs
          (514) 392-2260

          Canbras Communications Corp.
          Tel. (514) 878-1232
          Fax. (514) 878-1600


TELEFONICA CTC: Market Analysts Forecast Good Results For 2002
Expectations are high among market analysts that the Telefonica
CTC restructuring, as well as its costs slashing policy adopted
over the last two years, will bring good results to the Company
in 2002, reports El Diario.

Accordingly, the Company is expected to end this year with
profits of US$80 million, or a 4.3-percent profitability on
assets, and resume profitability in the mobile communications
business, undertaken by Telefonica Movil.

Last year, Telefonica Movil showed a 20-percent increase on
customers but posted losses of US$39 million.

Key business for Telefonica CTC this year is the modernization of
data communications that generated a US$17-million income in the
first year of operations.

The Company recently posted net income of US$20.4 million
(CLP13.5 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2001, compared with a
loss of CLP72 billion in the same period in the previous year.

"The profits of the company are the result of what we've done in
the long-distance business and how we've reduced our losses in
the mobile phone business as well as what we've achieved in data
service," related Chief Executive Officer Claudio Munoz.

Net income for 2001 was CLP4.1 billion, the first annual profit
since 1998. The former state-run monopoly reversed losses partly
by reducing costs after the government decreased its calling
rates and revenue in May 1999.

CONTACTS:  Bruno Phillippi Irarr zabal, Chairman
           Claudio Mu oz Zuniga, CEO
           Julio Covarrubias Fernandez, CFO
           Ver>nica Gaete, Financial Analyst
           Mara Jos, Rodrguez, Financial Analyst
           Florencia Acosta, Financial Analyst
           Gisela Escobar, Head of Investor Relations

           THEIR ADDRES:
           Compa a de Telecomunicaciones de Chile S.A.
           Av. Providencia 111, Piso 2
           Santiago, Chile
           Phone: +56-2-691-2020
           Fax: +56-2-691-2392


CHIVOR: Parent To Divest of Unprofitable Operations
AES Corp., the controller of AES Gener in Chile, plans to sell
off US$1.7 billion of assets, keeping only profitable operations

One of the assets to be sold is its Colombian subsidiary Chivor.
Chivor owns 8 percent of the country's generating capacity and
was acquired in December 1996 by Chile's Gener SA for US$643
million. AES took over Chivor last year when it bought Gener.

In January, Chivor was in talks with 20 banks headed by Bank of
America Corp. on a possible refinancing for US$336 million in
borrowings on which it failed to pay.

Discussions centered on a five-year, US$400-million syndicated
loan on which it failed to make $336 million in final payments of
outstanding principal due December 28, 2001.

The loan was syndicated by Bank of America. Other banks in the
loan included J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Canada,
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria's Colombian unit, Banco Santander
Central Hispano, Bancolombia SA and Corporacion Financiera
Suramericana y Nacional SA.

CONTACTS:  Bogota, Distrito Capital
           Chivor S.A. E.S.P.
           Cl 98 22-64 Of 518
           Tel: (57) (1) 6236660 - Fax: (57) (1) 6236837

PAZ DEL RIO: Sale Rumors Boost Stock Price
The shares of Colombia's Cementos Paz del Rio SA strengthened on
speculation that the Company may sell a large stake to a foreign
cement maker, traders said. Paz del Rio, a major cement producer,
rose COP169 pesos, or 8.8 percent, to COP2,100 on the market

The Company's stock price also increased due to a recovery in the
construction industry boosted by near historically low interest
rates, said Paul Weiss, a trader at Corredores Asociados SA

Meanwhile, Colombian securities regulators are yet to deliver a
ruling on the objections made by the creditors of Paz del Rio
concerning its financial restructuring.

The regulators recently ordered fresh accounting tests and
information to resolve the objections, thereby holding up the
decision indefinitely.

Gilberto Gomez, the official in charge of the process, remains
optimistic that the financially-troubled company will be able to
keep operating. However, according to Gomez, nothing is certain.

"Projects, cash flows and forecasts have already been made but so
far nothing has been accomplished," he said.

Paz del Rio needs an estimated US$60 million to update equipment
and wants the government to guarantee the Company so it can
secure credits in the international market.

CONTACTS:  Eric Flesch, Chairman
           Cementos Paz del Rio S.A.(CPR)
           Carrera 7 No 71-21
           Bogota, Colombia
           Phone: +57 606 9400


EMPRESAS ICA: Revenue Hinges On New Airport Contract
The Company's revenue this year may depend on whether it wins
contracts to help build a new airport for Mexico City and a
second level the capital's main thoroughfare, reports Bloomberg.

ICA has formed a consortium with Mexican cement giant Cemex and
four other local construction companies to bid for a US$2.8-
billion new Mexico City international airport at Texcoco.

Fitch analyst Roberto Guerra believes that ICA is in a good
position to bid for the project and may convince the government
to offer breaks for Mexican companies to be awarded the
construction work.

The Texcoco airport concession and state oil company Pemex's
plans to invest US$14 billion in new projects will be key for
ICA, said Guerra.

           Bernardo Quintana Isaac, Chairman/Pres/CEO
           Jos, L. Guerrero Alvarez, EVP Finance and CFO

           THEIR ADDRESS:
           Mineria No. 145, Colonia Escand>n
           11800 M,xico, D.F., Mexico
           Phone: +52-55-5272-9991
           Fax: +52-55-5227-5012

MEXLUB: Ex-Abaco Executive Denies Ties With Impulsora
Jorge Lankenau, the former president of Abaco Grupo Financiero,
disprove reports that suggested he has links with Impulsora
Jalisciense, owner of the MexLub brand.

In a report released by Mexico City daily Reforma, Lankenau
admitted he participated in a board meeting after the Company was
formed in 1992, but, according to him, it happened only once.

In 1992, the Chemical Compounds Industrial Group won the bid to
create the Mexlub company through its affiliate Impulsora

"If an investigation exists about my participation in MexLub, I'd
like to hear the results," he joked in response to legislators'
demands that the company be investigated to determine what
relationship he had with Lankenau.

Abaco issued Impulsora Jalisciense a loan when it began
operations, he said, which doesn't in the least imply that the
Company was struggling.

"If they find that I have a stake in (Mexlub), I'd like to
recover it, so I'd like them to let me know. If (I don't), they
should also announce that," he said.

CONTACT:  Octavio S nchez Mejorada, Manager
          Av. 8 de Julio N  2270, Z.I.
          Guadalajara, Jal. 44940
          Phone: 31-34-05-00
          Fax: 31-34-05-00

RHI REFRACTORIES: To Close Mexican Plant By March-End
Austria-based RHI Refractories, a portion of which is in
bankruptcy, announced that it would close A.P. Green
Refractories, its firebrick plant in Mexico, Mo., on March 31,
leaving 80 to 110 people out of work, the Associated Press

The announcement, which came after months of speculation,
disappointed city leaders, but didn't surprise them.

"I was hoping we could have averted this," Mayor Don Magnus said.
"It's a terrible tragedy to our community. I think the least
senior person there had as much as 27 years' experience with the
plant. Many of those guys were reaching retirement age."

It has not been determined if management at the plant will be
transferred, said Michael Elias, Mexico's director of economic
development. Right now, much of the concern is for the soon-to-
be-laid-off workers, many of whom were longtime employees with
sizable salaries.

"We are moving into a post-industrial society. Those high-paying
labor positions are dwindling; our economy is evolving," Elias
said. "Those jobs will not be replaced, and that hurts."

The average wage of plant workers is about $25 an hour, with
benefits. "When we lose jobs in our community that pay over
$40,000, that kind of economic loss hurts everyone," Magnus said.
"I think we will suffer a bunch from this."

Magnus said city officials had appealed to RHI's holding company
to keep the plant open. He said the city offered the company a
US$3 million stimulus package.

"The city went all out to keep this facility open, but it didn't
influence their decision a bit," Magnus said.

RHI AG, based in Vienna, Austria, is a globally active industrial
group with 180 production and services locations spanning five
continents. Its core division, RHI Refractories, is the global
market and technology leader in refractories. RHI Refractories'
world-renowned brands, top-quality products and innovative
refractories systems are used in all industrial high-temperature
production processes. Firebricks, or refractories, are heat-
resistant materials that line high-temperature furnaces and
reactors used to make products such as steel, aluminum or cement.

RHI is fighting more than US$1 billion in asbestos lawsuit

           Planta y Oficinas Generales
           Carretera Monterrey - Colombia Km. 23.2
           Salinas Victoria, N.L. C.P. 64000
           Tel. 01 (81) 8237-0282; 01 (81) 8237-0570
           Fax. 01 (81) 8237-0580

           RHI AG (Parent Company)
           Contacts: Dkfm. Markus Richter, Investor Relations
           Twin Tower
           Wienerbergstrasse 11
           A-1100 Vienna
           P.O.Box 143, A-1011 Vienna
           Tel.: +43/050 213 6123
           Fax: +43/050 213 6130


CHIQUITA BRANDS: Posts Better 2001 Results Under Reorganization
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. reported Monday that earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation and before
reorganization costs and other unusual charges (EBITDA) for 2001
was $155 million compared to $145 million in 2000. The
improvement in results occurred in the Company's Fresh Produce
business primarily as a result of higher European banana pricing
and volume. The benefit of the higher pricing and volume more
than offset the substantial negative effect on earnings resulting
from weak European currencies in relation to the US dollar. The
Company's Processed Foods operating results declined primarily
due to lower pricing on canned vegetables throughout the year, as
the industry was reducing inventory levels.

Fourth quarter EBITDA improved to $20 million in 2001 from a loss
of $16 million in 2000, primarily as a result of higher banana
pricing in both Europe and North America, higher banana volume in
Europe, and lower Fresh Produce delivered costs.

Net sales for the year of $2.2 billion were comparable to the
prior year and, for the fourth quarter, increased $32 million to
$561 million. For the year, sales increases due to higher banana
pricing and volume were offset by the effect of weak European
currencies and prior year divestitures. The fourth quarter
increase occurred primarily as a result of higher pricing and
volume in Fresh Produce.

Interest expense in 2001 of $122 million included $78 million of
interest on parent company debt that was accrued but not paid due
to the Company's debt restructuring.

For 2001, the Company reported a loss of $57 million ($.94 per
share) before $62 million of reorganization costs and other
unusual items. For the fourth quarter, Chiquita reported a loss
of $27 million ($.38 per share) before $47 million of
reorganization costs and other unusual items. Net loss for the
full year 2001 was $119 million ($1.78 per share), and the net
loss for the fourth quarter of 2001 was $74 million ($.98 per

Reorganization costs were $34 million during 2001 ($27 million
during the fourth quarter) and included professional fees and the
write-off of parent company debt issue costs. The other unusual
charges of $28 million ($20 million during the fourth quarter)
were primarily associated with the closure of farms, a third
quarter labor strike and related labor issues at the Company's
Armuelles, Panama banana production division. As previously
reported, the Company closed non-competitive farms that
represented about 20% of this division and has reached agreement
with the local labor union regarding work practices that should
lead to gradual improvements in productivity, cost and quality in
the remaining farms.

In 2000, the Company reported a loss of $75 million ($1.38 per
share) before $20 million of charges and write-downs of
production and sourcing assets in the Company's Fresh Produce
operations. For the 2000 fourth quarter, Chiquita reported a loss
of $69 million ($1.10 per share) before the charges and write-
downs. The Company's net loss for the full year 2000 was $95
million ($1.68 per share), and the net loss for the fourth
quarter of 2000 was $89 million ($1.40 per share).

As previously reported, the Company filed a Pre-Arranged Plan of
Reorganization in late November under Chapter 11 of the US
Bankruptcy Code in Federal Court in Cincinnati. The Company's
Plan is scheduled for a confirmation hearing in Federal Court in
Cincinnati on March 8, 2002. The Plan will reduce Chiquita's debt
and accrued interest by more than $700 million and its future
annual interest expense by about $60 million. The Chapter 11 Plan
involves a reorganization of only the publicly held debt and
equity securities of Chiquita Brands International, Inc., which
is a parent holding company without any business operations of
its own. The Plan does not affect the Company's business
operations, which are conducted by independent subsidiaries that
generate positive cash flow and have access to their own credit
facilities. These subsidiaries continue to operate normally.

Chiquita is a leading international marketer, producer and
distributor of quality fresh fruits and vegetables and processed

To see financial statements:

CONTACT:  James B. Riley
          Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,
          Tel. +1-513-784-6307

          William T. Sandstrom
          Director of Investor Relations,
          Tel. +1-513-784-6366


AEROCONTINENTE: Waits On DGA Certification To Commence Flights
AeroContinente Peru was scheduled to begin flights to Madrid
(Spain) departing from Santiago (Chile) and Lima (Peru) early
this month but the Peruvian airline is still awaiting
certification from the local civil aviation agency DGA for its
Boeing 767 on the route.

AeroContinente is eager to sieze opportunities presented by the
open sky agreement being negotiated by the Peruvian and Chilean
governments, to be effective in May.

AeroContinente recently managed to escape bankruptcy after it
reached an agreement with creditors involving debts of $17.1

AeroContinente is Peru's largest carrier and known for its
aggressive ticket pricing. The ariline flies to eight Latin
American countries and the United States, boasting some 60
percent of Peru's air travel market.

The unlisted airline has said it hoped to expand its European
roster to include London, Lisbon, Rome and Paris.

Aerocontinente's operations in Chile, where it ranks second after
LanChile, were grounded for nearly two months last year amid a
money laundering inquiry. The company said that setback cost it
up to $1.5 million a day. Currently, management is embattled in a
DEA drug trafficking investigation.


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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