TCRLA_Public/040323.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, March 23, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 58



ALPARGATAS: Presents Aggressive Debt Restructuring Plan
AVICOLA CASADEI: Declared Bankrupt by Court
COLORIN INDUSTRIA: Evaluadora Reaffirms `D' Rating on Bonds
CONSULTORA DE SALUD: Reorganization Motion Gets Green Light
DYEWOOD: Court Assigns Receiver To Oversee Reorganization

EXPRESO NOR SUR: Court Declares Company "Quiebra"
GALTA: Declared Bankrupt
LAPA ESTUDIANTIL: Enters Bankruptcy
MANUFACTURA DE CAUCHO: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
MOVICOM BELLSOUTH: Merger Gets Top Govt. Official's Backing

TGS: Evaluadora Maintains `D' Rating on $1.3B in Bonds


LORAL SPACE: Completes Integration, Testing of MTSAT-1R


ENRON: May Face $130M Lawsuit


EMBRATEL: Incumbents Refuse to Yield to Telmex Deal
ENRON: Elektro to Prisma Gets Aneel's Approval


FIBRATOLIMA: Creditors to Decide on Fate


PETROECUADOR: Seeks Additional OCP Deals
PETROECUADOR: Tender of Four Blocks Draws Only One Bidder

E L   S A L V A D O R

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: To Redeem Senior Convertible PIK Notes


AHMSA: J.P. Morgan Seeks to Lay Claim on $4M in U.S. Accounts
GALEY & LORD: Names Chief Financial Officer
GAM: Braces For Drawn-Out Talks With Government
UNEFON: Banco Azteca Says Loan Better Than Cetes Investment

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


ALPARGATAS: Presents Aggressive Debt Restructuring Plan
Leading Argentine textile manufacturer Alpargatas SAIC (ALPA.BA)
launched a US$600-million debt-restructuring plan Thursday as
part of an effort to reduce debts.

According to Dow Jones Business News, the plan, which was
presented to an Argentine bankruptcy judge Thursday, has two

In the first part, US$500 million debt will be converted into
pesos at a rate of one to one. At the current exchange rate of
ARS2.8875 to the dollar, this is an immediate reduction of about
65% before creditors even swap their old holdings for new ones.
The remaining debt is denominated in pesos and amounts to about
ARS313 million, putting the total peso amount to be restructured
at ARS813 million.

Creditors can then choose from four options. The first is a
peso-denominated par bond that comes due in 25 years, with
capital payments starting in the 11th year and a step-up coupon
that starts paying out in the third year. By the bond's last
year, the interest rate will be 3%. This first offering will be
the default option for creditors that don't register a formal

The second option is a 15-year, peso-denominated bond with a 50%
nominal haircut. Capital payments begin in the sixth year and
interest payments, which will progressively increase up to 3%,
start in the first year.

The third choice carries a total reduction of 75%. Creditors
will receive a cash payment worth 7% of the original value of
their holdings, plus a 15-year, peso-denominated bond worth 18%
of face value of the old obligations. Capital payments begin in
the 11th year and the bonds don't pay interest. Alpargatas set a
limit of ARS50 million for this option. If the number of
creditors choosing this component exceeds that amount, those who
don't indicate a back-up choice will be automatically given the
fourth option.

The fourth and final part of the proposal allows creditors to
swap 80% worth of their original holdings for Alpargatas'
ordinary shares at ARS12 each. The company's shares are
currently trading at roughly one-fourth of that value.

Alpargatas didn't indicate when it expects all necessary
creditor and legal approvals for its offer to be concluded.

The textile company filed for the local equivalent of Chapter 11
bankruptcy in December 2001 after it defaulted on its financial
obligations amid the country's economic meltdown.

          AZARA 841
          Phone: (54) 011 43030041
          Fax: (54) 1 303 1818

AUDITING FIRM: PricewaterhouseCoopers

AVICOLA CASADEI: Declared Bankrupt by Court
San Isidro Court No. 7 declared Avicola Casadei S.R.L.
"Quiebra," reports Infobae. Clerk No. 13 assists the court on
the case, which will close with the liquidation of the Company's
assets to repay creditors.

Francisco A. Lofeudo, who has been appointed as receiver, will
verify creditors' claims until April 16, 2004 and then prepare
the individual reports based on the results of the verification

The individual reports will then be submitted to the court on
May 31, 2004, followed by the general report July 15, 2004.

CONTACT:  Francisco A. Lofeudo, Receiver
          Laprida 57
          San Isidro

COLORIN INDUSTRIA: Evaluadora Reaffirms `D' Rating on Bonds
Evaluadora Latinoamericana S.A. Calificadora de Riesgo reaffirms
the `D' rating on the corporate Bonds issued by Argentine
company Colorin Industria de Materiales Sintet.

According to an announcement from the country's securities
regulator, Comicion Nacional Valores (CNV), the rating affects
US$47 million of bonds described as "Obligaciones Negociables."

The bonds, classified under `Simple Issue,' would come due on
March 31, 2006. The rating was determined based on the Company's
financial performance as of the end of December 2003.

CONSULTORA DE SALUD: Reorganization Motion Gets Green Light
Judge Chomer of Buenos Aires Court No. 10 approved Consultora de
Salud S.A.'s petition to undergo a financial reorganization,
reports Infobae.

The court, with assistance from Clerk No. 19, Dr. D'Alessandri,
appointed Eduardo Hector Vasini as receiver, who will oversee
the reorganization process. The receiver will verify creditors'
claims until May 11, 2004 and will subsequently prepare the
individual reports based on the verification process. The
individual reports are due for submission on June 24, 2004.
After these reports are processed in court, the receiver will
then submit the general report on August 30, 2004.

The informative assembly, which is one of the last parts of the
reorganization process, will be held on March 1, 2005.

Consultora de Salud filed the motion to reorganize in December
last year after it failed to pay debts since August.

CONTACT:  Consultora de Salud S.A.
          5th Floor
          Ave Rivadavia 2358
          Buenos Aires

          Eduardo Hector Vasini, Receiver
          Avenida Rivadavia 4783
          Buenos Aires

DYEWOOD: Court Assigns Receiver To Oversee Reorganization
The Tribunal Civil y Comercial de San Isidro approved Dyewood
S.A.'s petition to reorganize, reports Infobae.

The court assigned Estudio Yaben, Pardal as the Company's
receiver, who will verify creditors' claims until May 21, 2004.
Individual reports, which are prepared based on the results of
the claims verifications process, will then be submitted to
court on August 8, 2004. After the reports are processed in
court, the receiver will then submit the general report on
September 22, 2004.

The informative assembly, the last phase of a reorganization
process, will be held on April 20, 2005.

          Ituzaingo 369
          San Isidro

EXPRESO NOR SUR: Court Declares Company "Quiebra"
Buenos Aires Court No. 8 declared local company Expreso Nor Sur
S.A. "Quiebra," reports Infobae. The court, assisted by Clerk
No. 16, assigned Maria Cenatiempo as receiver, who will examine
and authenticate creditors' claims until April 20, 2004. The
deadlines for the submission of the individual and general
reports have been set for June 2, 2004 and July 14, 2004,
respectively. The Company's bankruptcy case will close with the
liquidation of its assets to repay creditors.

CONTACT:  Maria Cenatiempo, Receiver
          Avenida de Mayo 1365
          Buenos Aires

GALTA: Declared Bankrupt
Buenos Aires Court No. 18 declared local company Galta S.A.
"Quiebra," reports Infobae. The court, assisted by Clerk No. 36,
assigned Norberto Ruben Moline as receiver, who will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until April 28, 2004. The
deadlines for the submission of the individual and general
reports are yet to be set. The Company's bankruptcy case will
close with the liquidation of its assets to repay creditors.

          Tucuman 1748
          Buenos Aires

          Norberto Ruben Moline, Receiver
          Avenida Rivadavia 2530
          Buenos Aires

LAPA ESTUDIANTIL: Enters Bankruptcy
Buenos Aires company Lapa Estudiantil S.A. entered bankruptcy
after Court No. 14 declared it "Quiebra," says local news portal
Infobae. Clerk No. 28 works with the court on the case, which
will end with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

The Company's receiver, Abel Alexis Latendorf, will prepare the
individual reports after the credit verification process is
completed on May 21, 2004. The court requires the individual
reports to be filed on July 12, 2004.  After the individual
reports are processed, the receiver will consolidate the
information into a general report, which is due for filing on
September 7, 2004.

CONTACT:  Abel Alexis Latendorf, Receiver
          Piedras 153
          Buenos Aires

MANUFACTURA DE CAUCHO: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
Buenos Aires Court No. 14 declared local company Manufactura de
Caucho la Hispano Americana S.A.C.I.F. "Quiebra", according to
Argentine news portal Infobae. The Company will undergo the
bankruptcy process with Alicia Ester Ferraro as receiver.

Creditors are required to file submit their claims to the
receiver before May 21, 2004. The receiver will examine and
authenticate claims to determine the nature and amount of the
Company's debts.

The individual reports, which contain the results of the credit
verification process, are to be submitted to court on July 12,
2004. The receiver will also prepare a general report, to be
filed on September 7, 2004 after the individual reports are
processed in court.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to repay creditors. Payments will be based on
the results of the verification process.

Clerk No. 28 assists the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Alicia Ester Ferraro, Receiver
          Esmeralda 960
          Buenos Aires

MOVICOM BELLSOUTH: Merger Gets Top Govt. Official's Backing
Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido's apparent support to
the planned merger of Telefonica SA's local cellphone operator
Unifon with Movicom BellSouth indicates that the deal is close
to a regulatory approval, Dow Jones Business News suggests.

"This will be resolved by the Secretary of the Defense of
Competition, which is under the control of the Ministry of
Economy. We in the Telecommunications area see no objections to
the merger as such," De Vido said.

"We were talking about this with the President in relation to
the increase in personnel, the optimization of services, the
technological transformation to the GSM system - which we
consider to be of higher quality - and obviously from the
regulatory point of view we are going to observe very closely
the rollout of this integration," he added.

Given De Vido's close relationship with President Nestor
Kirchner, his remarks were treated in local press Friday as a
strong indication that the government will not block the deal.

TGS: Evaluadora Maintains `D' Rating on $1.3B in Bonds
Evaluadora Latinoamericana S.A. Calificadora de Riesgo maintains
a `D' rating on a total of US$1.3 billion of corporate bonds
issued by Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A., the CNV says on
its Web site.

The rating applies to US$500 million of "Programa Global de 1996
por U$S 500.000.000", and another US$500 million of "Programa
Global de 1999". Some US$300 million more are described as
"Programa Global de 2000". The bonds were all classified under

A `D' rating is issued to bonds that are in default, said the
ratings agency. The rating was based on the Company's finances
as of the end of Dec. 2003.

CONTACTS:  Investor Relations:
           Eduardo Pawluszek, Finance/Investor Relations Manager
           Gonzalo Castro Olivera, Investor Relations
           Maria Victoria Quade, Investor Relations
           Tel: (54-11) 4865-9077

           Media Relation:
           Rafael Rodriguez Roda
           Tel: (54-11) 4865-9050 ext. 1238


LORAL SPACE: Completes Integration, Testing of MTSAT-1R
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) announced Friday that it has
completed integration and testing of the MTSAT-1R satellite and
has shipped the spacecraft to Japan's space center in
Tanegashima, Japan, where it will await launch on a H-IIA
rocket. MTSAT-1R was built for the Japanese Civil Aviation
Bureau (JCAB) and Japanese Meteorological Agency, both of the
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT).

"SS/L is proud to deliver the state-of-the art MTSAT-1R
multifunctional satellite to our customers in Japan," said C.
Patrick DeWitt, president, Space Systems/Loral. "The unique
design of this spacecraft combines SS/L's long heritage of
building reliable weather monitoring satellites with advanced
air traffic control capabilities."

From its geosynchronous orbital position at 140 degrees East
longitude, MTSAT-1R will carry aeronautical services and a
meteorological payload on one satellite. Operating in L-band,
the satellite will provide communications and navigational
services for aircraft, and will gather weather data for users
throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region -- as far south as
Australia and New Zealand.

Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau will use MTSAT-1R to increase the
efficiency of aircraft flight routes, provide flexible flight
profile planning, enhance air travel safety, and improve the
quality of aeronautical communications. The Japanese
Meteorological Agency (JMA) will use MTSAT-1R to deliver
observed data to a processing station and provide cloud imagery
and continuous weather data from around the region, such as
cloud and water vapor distributions, cloud-motion wind vector,
sea surface temperature, and information on typhoon, low
pressure, and frontal activity.

MTSAT-1R is a version of SS/L's space-proven three-axis, body-
stabilized 1300 bus. SS/L's satellites are designed to achieve
long useful orbital life through use of bipropellant propulsion
and momentum-bias systems for excellent station-keeping and
orbital stability. A system of high-efficiency solar arrays and
lightweight batteries provide uninterrupted electrical power.
SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1000 years of reliable
on-orbit service.

MTSAT-1R uses many of the same technologies developed for the
most recently deployed U.S. Geostationary Operational
Environmental Satellite program, called GOES, for which SS/L was
the prime contractor. SS/L manufactured five GOES satellites (I-
M) under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) for delivery to the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for operations.

In 2003, SS/L was awarded one of the advanced architecture study
contracts for the GOES-R series of spacecraft. The contracts are
designed to help NOAA define future GOES-R requirements, by
analyzing different, commercially viable architectures. Each has
a 12-month term, with a potential option of six additional
months. Through these contracts, NOAA plans to acquire research
and advanced technology information about end-to-end system
alternatives from commercial specialists in the aerospace,
communications, and data management fields. GOES-R is scheduled
for launch in 2012.  

NOAA's GOES satellite provides data products to the commercial,
educational, and public sectors to protect lives, property and
the environment, and to foster economic growth and promote
educational research. The future GOES-R mission is expected to
improve the quality and timeliness of environmental (weather and
water) forecasts, provide a further understanding of climate
variability, help in the management of ecosystems, and allow for
the efficient transportation of commerce systems, expanding the
safety and economic security of the public.

In addition to its work with NOAA, SS/L is a significant
provider of both environmental and telecommunications satellites
for the Japanese market. The company has built 15 satellites for
Japan, including the first two SUPERBIRD telecommunications
satellites and two N-STAR communications satellites for Nippon
Telegraph & Telephone (NTT), one of the world's largest
telephone companies. Earlier this month, the SS/L-built MBSAT
satellite was successfully launched for Mobile Broadcasting
Corporation (MBCO) of Japan and SK Telecom of Korea.

Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space &
Communications (OTCBB: LRLSQ), is a premier designer,
`manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satellites and
satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related
services that include mission control operations and procurement
of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has
an international base of commercial and governmental customers
whose applications include broadband digital communications,
direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental
monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000

Loral Space & Communications is a satellite communications
company. In addition to Space Systems/Loral, Loral, through its
Skynet subsidiary, owns and operates a fleet of
telecommunications satellites used to broadcast video
entertainment programming, and for broadband data transmission,
Internet services and other value-added communications services.

CONTACT:  John McCarthy
          (212) 338-5345

Web site:


ENRON: May Face $130M Lawsuit
Bolivia's government is planning to lodge a US$130-million
lawsuit against US energy company Enron for its failure to
uphold its end of a bargain with state oil company YPFB,
Business News Americas reports, citing government news agency

Bolivia paid Enron US$130 million to build the Bolivia-Brazil
pipeline through a 40:60 joint venture signed with YPFB in 1994.
Enron was supposed to use the cash to finance the construction
of the pipeline but had not done so by the expiry date in 1997,
according to Juan Carlos Virreira, who was appointed by
President Carlos Mesa to revise and improve the terms of
privatization processes.

The pipeline began operating in 1998, financed and operated by
Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras. Enron did nothing to
further the project but charged the government anyway, Virreira

Already, Virreia has presented the lawsuit to state prosecutors
Salomon Paniagua and Mary Gutierrez.


EMBRATEL: Incumbents Refuse to Yield to Telmex Deal
Brazil's three local telephony incumbents signaled that they are
not going to give up easily on Embratel (NYSE: EMT).

According to Business News Americas, the incumbents - Brasil
Telecom (NYSE: BRP), Telesp (NYSE: TSP) and Telemar (NYSE: TNE)
- published a full-page ad in newspapers Friday seeking public
support for their bid to buy Embratel.

The incumbents offered US telco MCI US$550 million for its
19.26% stake in Embratel. To bypass local antitrust laws the
incumbents invited local telco Geodex to control of 100% of
voting shares in the joint venture, called Calais, leaving each
incumbent with preferred shares.

In the ad, the telcos argue that MCI's decision to sell Embratel
to Mexico's Telmex (NYSE: TMX) for US$360 million is unfair to
minority shareholders.

But BBVA analyst Jeffrey Noble suggested that the incumbents'
efforts are "futile" at this point because an experienced court-
appointed legal advisor for MCI creditors has already determined
that Telmex' offer, though not the highest, is in their best

CONTACT:   Silvia M.R. Pereira, Investor Relations
           Tel: (55 21) 2121-9662
           Fax: (55 21) 2121-6388

ENRON: Elektro to Prisma Gets Aneel's Approval
The transfer of Brazilian distributor Elektro from US power
company Enron to Prisma Energy, a special purpose company
created to hold Enron assets, is now close to completion.

Business News Americas reports that the country's electricity
regulator Aneel has approved the transfer. Now, the only thing
lacking for the transfer to go ahead is the New York bankruptcy
court's approval.

Aneel said the transfer will not affect Elektro's finances since
Enron's liquidation does not include the Brazilian utility's

Prisma will hold Enron's Central American, South American and
Asian assets, and then distribute shares in Prisma for future
settlement with creditors, says the report.


FIBRATOLIMA: Creditors to Decide on Fate
Colombian textile company Fibratolima failed to comply with an
agreement signed with its creditors under the country's Ley 550
bankruptcy legislation, reports Portafolio.

As such, authorities have called a meeting of the creditors in
order to define their rights in relation to the Company's

The company is hoping to reach a new agreement with the
creditors. Reports have it that Fibratolima is looking for a
strategic partner, possibly Fabricato-Tejicondor, which is known
to be interested.

The details of the company's current situation will be revealed
at the meeting at the end of March. Analysts see the Company's
problem as one of liquidity, as its sales have remained stable.


PETROECUADOR: Seeks Additional OCP Deals
After reaching a deal last week with the OCP consortium to
transport up to about 230,000b/d of crude on the OCP pipeline,
Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador aims to sign agreements
with Spain's Repsol YPF and Brazil's Petrobras during the week
March 22-26.

With the agreement, Petroecuador aims to use 100,000 barrels a
day (b/d) of Repsol's and Petrobras' excess capacity on the OCP
pipeline, reports Business News Americas.

Repsol YPF and Petrobras have take-or-pay agreements for
150,000b/d and 100,000b/d capacity respectively on the OCP, but
their respective transport volumes are only 80,000b/d and
70,000b/d at present, according to a Petroecuador spokesperson.

That frees up 100,000b/d that Petroecuador could use while its
Sote pipeline is being repaired after it was ruptured by a
landslide on March 11.

The main advantage of signing agreements with Repsol YPF and
Petrobras is that the price would be lower than the US$2/b that
OCP is charging Petroecuador, the spokesperson said. The actual
price the companies will charge is currently under negotiation.

PETROECUADOR: Tender of Four Blocks Draws Only One Bidder
Petroecuador's ninth bidding round for the tender of four blocks
located in southwest Ecuador closed March 19 with only one
bidder, reports Business News Americas.

According to a Petroecuador source, Houston-based Clipper Energy
submitted a bid by the deadline for onshore blocks 4 and 5. None
submitted a bid for offshore blocks 39 and 40.

It is unlikely that the energy ministry will call for bids again
on the offshore blocks, but that will be determined at a later
date, the spokesperson said.

The ministry had extended the original November 21 bidding
deadline because companies asked for more time to study the
offshore blocks.

The ministry reopened the ninth round last August after
investors stayed away from the first sale attempt in April last
year. The government had hoped investors would return because
President Lucio Gutierrez has taken steps toward revamping the
hydrocarbons law to encourage private sector participation.

E L   S A L V A D O R

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: To Redeem Senior Convertible PIK Notes
Millicom International Cellular S.A. (Nasdaq:MICC) ("MIC"), the
global telecommunications investor, announced Friday that it has
officially requested the Trustee of its 2% Senior Convertible
PIK Notes Due 2006 (the "2% Notes") to call the entire
outstanding amount of 2% Notes (in an aggregate principal amount
of approximately $61 million) for redemption in cash on April
26, 2004 in accordance with the terms of the Indenture covering
the 2% Notes. The Trustee will notify the holders of the 2%
Notes in accordance with the terms of the Indenture.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the
solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of
securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation
or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification
under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

CONTACT:  Millicom International Cellular S.A., Luxembourg
          Marc Beuls, President and Chief Executive Officer
          Telephone:  +352 27 759 327

          Shared Value Ltd, London
          Andrew Best, Investor Relations
          Telephone: +44 20 7321 5022


AHMSA: J.P. Morgan Seeks to Lay Claim on $4M in U.S. Accounts
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank is seeking to overturn a New York judge's
decision to throw out the bank's claim to around US$4 million in
a U.S. account designated for debt payments by steel maker Altos
Hornos de Mexico SA (AHMSA.MX).

Citing court documents, Dow Jones reports that in March 2003,
J.P. Morgan filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of
New York, asking that the U.S court allow it to declare its
ownership of the money in the U.S. account. But Judge Harold
Baer dismissed their complaint in late January on the grounds
that a Mexican court should resolve the dispute.

J.P. Morgan filed an appeal of the dismissal late last month.

The case involves a US$330-million syndicated bank loan that
J.P. Morgan put together for Ahmsa in 1997. The loan was
structured so that Ahmsa's customers - rather than the debtor
itself - made prearranged payments into a collection account
that was held by J.P. Morgan at the firm's New York offices.
Then J.P. Morgan distributed these loan payments due twice a
year to the 27 other bank creditors who were also involved.

In 1999, the steel company stopped paying its creditors and
afterward went into the Mexican equivalent of Chapter 11 known
as "suspension de pagos," which protects the company from
lawsuits, among other things. But even so, Ahmsa's customers
continued putting money into the New York collection account for
the structured debt.

J.P. Morgan has been holding onto that money since and only
notified Ahmsa about its existence in 2002. The Company demanded
the money back, but J.P. Morgan refused on the grounds that it
was designated for creditors.

          Prolongacion B. Juarez s/n,
          Monclova , Coahuila 25770

          Phone: +52 86 33 81 72
          Fax: +52 86 33 65 66
          Alonso Ancira Elizondo, CEO, Vice Chairman, Pres/CEO
          Jorge Ancira Elizondo, Chief Financial Officer
          Manuel Ancira Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer

GALEY & LORD: Names Chief Financial Officer
Galey & Lord, Inc. (the "Company"), which recently emerged from
Chapter 11, today announced that Leonard F. Ferro has been named
Chief Financial Officer of Galey & Lord, Inc. He will continue
to be responsible for all domestic and foreign financial
activities for the Company.

Mr. Ferro will report to John J. Heldrich, Jr., President and
Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Ferro joined Galey & Lord in September 1998 as Corporate
Controller and since January 2001 has served as Vice-President
and Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Heldrich said, "Len is a
highly qualified professional whose understanding of our
businesses and technical skills have been of critical importance
during our recent reorganization. The designation as Chief
Financial Officer clearly reflects his past and future role
within the organization. I am delighted to have someone of his
caliber in this key position."

The Company is a leading producer of innovative woven sportswear
fabrics as a result of its expertise in sophisticated and
diversified finishing. Fabrics are designed in close partnership
with a diversified base of customers to capture a large share of
the middle and high end of the bottomweight woven market. The
Company is also a leading producer of differentiated and value-
added denim products. The Company and its foreign subsidiaries
employ approximately 3,200 employees in the United States and
215 employees in its owned foreign operations. The Company and
its joint venture interests operate in the U.S., Canada, Mexico,
Asia, Europe and North Africa.

GAM: Braces For Drawn-Out Talks With Government
The Mexican government and sugar producer GAM (Grupo Azucarero
Mexico) may be facing protracted and complicated negotiations in
their attempt to settle accounts for expropriated sugar mills,
local daily El Financiero suggests.

GAM is attempting to reach an agreement with the government with
respect to how much its owes the latter, and how much the
government owes it for the sugar produced in GAM's mills during
the period in which these were expropriated by the government.

GAM is said to be asking for US$70 mills for two mills, but the
Tax Attorney of the Mexican Government says that these mills
have liabilities greater than their assets.

The four expropriated mills - Tala (Jose Maria Martinez), Lazaro
Cardenas, Presidente Benito Juarez and El Dorado, - have been
physically returned to GAM following court orders.

GAM voluntarily gave up its claim on two others in what it calls
an act of goodwill to the government, and to pay off some its
debts with the state.

This should be taken into account when the final agreement is
being prepared, says GAM.

UNEFON: Banco Azteca Says Loan Better Than Cetes Investment
An executive of Mexico's Banco Azteca defended the bank's recent
decision to loan MXN140 million to wireless phone company Unefon
SA (UNEFON.MX), reports Dow Jones.

"It's better than investing in Cetes (government Treasury
bills)," said Carlos Septien, Banco Azteca's chief executive.

Six-month Cetes, which are frequently used as a benchmark for
local debt issues, yielded 6.56% at last week's primary auction.
The three-year loan to Unefon pays fixed interest of 11.35%.

Soon after the loan was disclosed, brokerage and research firm
Deutsche/Ixe downgraded its recommendation on shares of Banco
Azteca's parent company Grupo Elektra SA (EKT), partly because
of corporate governance concerns.

"We believe the transaction provides a very negative signal to
the market," the investment bank said in cutting its rating on
Elektra's shares to "hold" from "buy."

"Banco Azteca's strength lies in consumer finance, not corporate
lending," Deutsche/Ixe added.

Unefon, Mexico's third-largest wireless phone company, borrowed
MXN500 million from Grupo Financiero Inbursa SA (GFINBUR.MX) and
MXN140 million from Banco Azteca to improve its debt profile and
cut exchange risk by leaving 48% of its debt in pesos.

CONTACT:  Unefon Holdings, S.A. de C.V.
          Hector Romero
          Phone: +011-5255-3099-0060


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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