TCRLA_Public/050912.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

          Monday, September 12, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 180

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Government Seeks Extension to Finalize Terms
ALIMENTOS FARGO: SANALP 2005 Commences Tender for '08 Notes
ALPALINE S.A.: To Propose Settlement Plan to Creditors
ALPARGATAS TEXTIL: Final Plan Announcement Set for Meeting
BAUD MOL: Court Appoints Trustee for Reorganization

CALZADO CATAMARCA: Final Meeting Set for November 11
IRSA: Reports 17.5% Increase in Full-Year Net Profit
LOMA NEGRA: Makes Early Repayment on $39.3M Bonds
PREVISION MEDICA: Trustee to Present General Report in Court
SIDERAR: Workers Threaten Strike Over Agreement Non-Compliance

TGS: CIESA Closes Debt Restructuring Agreement with Creditors
TGS: Ratings Unaffected by CIESA Debt Restructuring


B R A Z I L

AES TIETE: Bear Stearns Ups Rating to Outperform
CELG: Aneel Authorizes Minor Rate Hike
GERDAU: Ratings Reflect Sector Volatility, Competition
GERDAU: CADE to Review Price Fixing Allegations Wednesday
ODEBRECHT: S&P Assigns 'BB-' to New $100M Bond Issue

VARIG: Reports Lower Net Loss for Jan-July 2005 Period


C O L O M B I A

ECOPETROL: Oxy Secures La Cira-Infantas Contract


C O S T A   R I C A

BICSA: Ratings Reflect Low Profitability, Weak Loan Portfolio


J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Court OK's 2nd Amended Disclosure Statement
SANS SOUCI: Carreras Sells Hotel to Couples for $18.75M


M E X I C O

ASARCO: U.S. Trustee Appoints 7-Member Creditors' Committee
SATMEX: Strikes Deal With Arianespace For SatMex 6 Launch
VITRO: Signs Technical Consulting Agreement with Allied Glass
WOLVERINE TUBE: Restructuring Includes Mexico Expansion


P A N A M A

WILLBROS GROUP: Seeks Approval to Alter Note Terms


     - - - - - - - - - -


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

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Government Seeks Extension to Finalize Terms
--------------------------------------------------------------
The government of Argentina has asked French utility group Suez
to extend to Sep. 11 from Sep. 7 the ultimatum issued by the
latter for an agreement over the renewal of its water services
concession for Buenos Aires. Suez controls Aguas Argentinas,
which has run the Buenos Aires waterworks since 1993 under a
30-year contract. The French parent has threatened to pull out
of the concession if it can't secure an accord.

In its final contract proposal submitted in July, Suez asked
the government for a 20% rate increase in January and another
15% hike in the second half of 2006.

Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet said he is not optimistic about the
outcome of talks with the government on resolving the dispute.


ALIMENTOS FARGO: SANALP 2005 Commences Tender for '08 Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------
Madera L.L.C., an entity controlled by Mexican investor
Fernando Chico Pardo, and Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V., owners
together of over 99.9% the outstanding equity of Compania de
Alimentos Fargo S.A. (the "Company"), announced Thursday that
their affiliate, SANALP 2005, S.L. (the "Offeror"), has
commenced a cash tender offer for any and all of the Company's
outstanding 13-1/4% Notes due 2008, CUSIP number
204440AC5/P30566AA4 and ISIN number US204440AC51/USP30566AA46
(the "Notes"). The purpose of the Offer is for the Offeror to
acquire at least 80%, and up to 100%, of the principal amount
of the Notes and have the tendering noteholders provide certain
approvals and waivers (the "Holder Approvals"). The Holder
Approvals will, among other things, permit the Company to
obtain the necessary approval of a plan of reorganization in
its reorganization proceedings, or concurso, to allow the
Company to restructure its debt. Such solicitation of Holder
Approvals, in conjunction with the tender offer for the Notes,
is referred to collectively as the "Offer." The terms and
conditions of the Offer are set forth in an Offer to Purchase
and Solicitation of Holder Approvals dated September 8, 2005
(the "Offer to Purchase").

Subject to certain conditions precedent described in the Offer
to Purchase, holders who validly tender Notes and deliver
Holder Approvals prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on
October 6, 2005, unless extended (the "Early Tender Payment
Deadline"), will be entitled to receive the Total Tender Offer
Consideration of $180.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes
(which includes an Early Tender Payment of $40.00 per $1,000
principal amount of Notes). Holders who validly tender Notes
after the Early Tender Payment Deadline but prior to 5:00 p.m.,
New York City time, on July 1, 2006, unless extended (the
"Expiration Time"), will be entitled to receive the Basic
Tender Offer Consideration of 140.00 per $1,000 principal
amount of Notes, which is equal to the Total Tender Offer
Consideration less the Early Tender Payment. Payment will be
made promptly after the Expiration Time.

The Offer is subject to the satisfaction of various conditions
described in the Offer to Purchase. The Offeror reserves the
right to extend, amend or modify the Offer, subject to the
conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase.

This news release is not an offer to purchase, a solicitation
of an offer to sell the Notes or a solicitation of a consent or
approval with respect to any securities. The Offer is being
made only by reference to the Offer to Purchase dated September
8, 2005, and the related applicable Letter of Transmittal and
Approval.

About the Agents

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is the exclusive Dealer Manager and
Solicitation Agent for the tender offer and consent
solicitation. Questions regarding the terms of the tender offer
or consent solicitation should be directed to Goldman, Sachs &
Co. toll free in the United States at (800) 828-3182 or at +1
212 357-3019 for international callers (call collect).

The Information and Tender Agent is Bondholder Communications
Group. Any questions or requests for assistance or additional
copies of documents may be directed to the Information and
Tender Agent at +1 888 385 2663 (Toll-Free) or +1 212 809 2663
or +44 207 236 0788.

About Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A.

Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A. is the leading producer and
distributor of packaged bread and bakery products in Argentina.
The Company is the sole bakery supplier for McDonald's in
Argentina and one of the leading producers and distributors of
frozen dough, which is used to bake traditional bread. The
Company's wide range of products also includes sweets, empanada
tortillas, pastry, pasta and other manufactured flourbased
products.

CONTACT: Goldman, Sachs & Co.
         Dealer Manager and Solicitation Agent
         800-828-3182
         +1-212 357-3019 (call collect)
                   or
         Bondholder Communications Group
         Tender Agent
         888-385-2663
         +1-212-809-2663
         +44-207-236-0788


ALPALINE S.A.: To Propose Settlement Plan to Creditors
------------------------------------------------------
Alpaline S.A. will propose its completed settlement plan to
creditors in an informative assembly scheduled for Nov. 11,
2005, Infobae reports.

The Company, which is operating in Buenos Aires, began
reorganization proceedings after the city's civil and
commercial Court No. 19, with assistance from Clerk No. 37,
granted its petition for "concurso preventivo".


ALPARGATAS TEXTIL: Final Plan Announcement Set for Meeting
----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based company Alpargatas Textil S.A. will meet its
creditors in an informative assembly scheduled for Nov. 11,
2005 to propose its completed settlement plan.

The city's civil and commercial Court No. 19, with assistance
from Clerk No. 37, issued a resolution opening the Company's
reorganization.


BAUD MOL: Court Appoints Trustee for Reorganization
---------------------------------------------------
Baud Mol S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires, is ready to
start its reorganization after the city's civil and commercial
Court No. 6 appointed Ms. Clara Auerhan to supervise the
proceedings as trustee. Clerk No. 12 assists the court on this
case.

An Infobae report states that Ms. Auerhan will verify
creditors' claims until Oct. 12, 2005. Afterwards, she will
present these claims as individual reports for final review by
the court on Nov. 28, 2005. She will also provide the court
with a general report pertaining to the Company's
reorganization on Feb. 9, 2006. The court has scheduled the
informative assembly on July 28, 2006.

CONTACT: Ms. Clara Auerhan
         Uruguay 872
         Buenos Aires


CALZADO CATAMARCA: Final Meeting Set for November 11
----------------------------------------------------
The informative assembly for the Calzado Catamarca S.A.
reorganization will be on Nov. 11, 2005. During the assembly,
the Company will endorse the settlement proposal to its
creditors for approval. The said proposal is drafted from the
submitted claims of creditors.

Calzado Catamarca S.A. successfully petitioned for
reorganization after Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal issued a resolution opening the Company's
insolvency proceedings.

Clerk No. 37 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Calzado Catamarca S.A.
         Buenos Aires


IRSA: Reports 17.5% Increase in Full-Year Net Profit
----------------------------------------------------
IRSA-Inversiones y Representaciones SA, the largest real estate
company in Argentina, reported a ARS103.2-million net profit
for the full fiscal year ended June 30, 17.5% higher than the
ARS87.9-million in 2004, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

The Company, which also develops premium office space and high-
end residential units, ended the year with a 33.5% increase in
operating profit to ARS141.2 million from ARS105.8 million in
the full year 2004.

The improvement comes amid a strong recovery in its Class A
office space, where occupancy rose to 97% by the end of the
year. In 2004, occupancy was 87%.

The management of IRSA has come under fire for alleged dealings
related to mortgage bank Banco Hipotecario, in which IRSA owns
a 28.9% stake. The real estate company also manages the bank.

Late last month, securities regulator CNV said IRSA Director
Eduardo Elsztain, who is also Banco Hipotecario's vice
president, engaged in manipulative stock market transactions.

Elsztain has since asked Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna to
clarify the government's position on IRSA's future as the
managing shareholder in the bank.

The national government controls a 48.9% stake in Banco
Hipotecario.

CONTACT: IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones S. A.
         Alejandro Elsztain, Director
         Gabriel Blasi, CFO
         Tel: +011-5411 4323-7449
         E-mail: finanzas@irsa.com.ar


LOMA NEGRA: Makes Early Repayment on $39.3M Bonds
-------------------------------------------------
Loma Negra, Argentina's biggest cement company, made an early
repayment on US$39.3 million of bonds using excess cash funds
generated in the first six months of the year, reports Business
News Americas.

"After these payments, there are no more capital quotas of
circulating Loma Negra bonds that can be called in before
September 5, 2008," the Company said in a statement to the
Buenos Aires stock exchange.

Construcoes e Comercio Camargo Correa SA, Brazil's fourth-
biggest cement producer, earlier agreed to buy Loma Negra and
its subsidiaries for US$1.025 billion. The figure includes
US$250 million in debt.

Under the deal, Camargo-Correo will keep Loma Negra's nine
plants open as well as assume the Argentine company's 1,850
employees. Juliano de Oliveira, who was general manager of
Camargo-Correa's cement business, will be general manager of
Loma Negra.

The deal is currently being examined by Argentine antimonopoly
authorities.


PREVISION MEDICA: Trustee to Present General Report in Court
------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Walter Arturo Calleja will present the
general report on the Prevision Medica Complementaria S.A.
liquidation in court tomorrow, Sep. 13, 2005.

On May 20, 2005, Mr. Calleja reviewed claims forwarded by the
Company's creditors. The validated claims were submitted as
individual reports for court approval on July 6, 2005.

Prevision Medica Complementaria S.A. of Buenos Aires began
liquidating its assets after Court No. 8 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal declared the Company bankrupt.

The city's Clerk No. 16 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Mr. Walter Arturo Calleja, Trustee
         Lambare 1140
         Buenos Aires


SIDERAR: Workers Threaten Strike Over Agreement Non-Compliance
--------------------------------------------------------------
Flat steel producer Siderar is currently in talks with workers
regarding the issue of salary increases, Business News Americas
reports, citing an unnamed Siderar official. The official's
comments came amid reports that the UOM metalworkers' union
plans to carry out a strike because the Company has allegedly
failed to comply with an agreement regarding salary increases.

The UOM reportedly agreed with steelmakers in July to a hike of
roughly 20%, which is to be implemented in three phases and to
be completed in January.

The agreement materialized after the union staged a partial
strike at some 20 plants in the province of Buenos Aires, which
impacted companies from the Techint group including Siderar,
Dalmine, Siderca and Arcelor-controlled Acindar.

According to Business News Americas, Siderar employs some
10,000 steel workers and is one of two companies that have not
reached an agreement with the union to finalize the salary
hike.


TGS: CIESA Closes Debt Restructuring Agreement with Creditors
-------------------------------------------------------------
Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. ("TGS" or "the Company")
(NYSE: TGS, MERVAL:TGSU2) announced that it has received a
notice from its controlling shareholder, Compania de
Inversiones de Energia S.A. ("CIESA"), reporting that CIESA has
closed a restructuring agreement (the "Agreement") in respect
to its financial indebtedness with all its creditors. The debt
subject to restructuring amounting to approximately US$270
million (including accrued interest), consists of US$220
million notes and other financial debts for approximately US$2
million, which are in default since April 2002.

As a consequence of this Agreement, CIESA refinanced debt of
approximately US$23 million for a 10 year-period, and once the
approval from the Ente Nacional Regulador del Gas and the
Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia are obtained,
will deliver to its financial creditors approximately 4.3% of
its current holding of TGS's Class B shares and will swap its
remainder financial debt for equity.

As a result of its financial restructuring and subject to the
requested approvals, CIESA capital stock will consist of: (i)
Class A shares, representing 50% of both CIESA's shares and
voting rights, which will be held by Petrobras Energia S.A. and
a subsidiary; and (ii) Class B shares, representing the
remainder 50% of both CIESA's shares and voting rights, which
will be held by financial creditors.  From then on, Enron Corp.
and ABN AMRO BANK N.V., as Trustee, will cease to be CIESA's
shareholders.

CONTACT: Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A.
         Don Bosco 3672, 5th Floor
         1206 Capital Federal
         Buenos Aires,
         Phone: (212) 688-5144
         Fax: (212) 688-5213
         E-mail: eduardo_pawluszek@tgs.com.ar
         Web Site: http://www.tgs.com.ar/


TGS: Ratings Unaffected by CIESA Debt Restructuring
---------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday that
Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A.'s (TGS, B-/Stable/--)
ratings will not be affected by the recent announcement by its
51% controlling company Compa¤Ħa de Iversiones de EnergĦa S.A.
(CIESA, not rated) that it has closed an agreement with all its
creditors to restructure its approximately US$270 million
(including accrued interests) of financial indebtedness. Under
this agreement, and subject to regulatory approvals, CIESA
refinanced approximately US$23 million for a 10-year period and
will swap its remaining financial debt for equity. Once the
transaction is closed, CIESA will be jointly controlled 50% by
Petrobras Energia S.A. (B/Positive/--) and 50% by financial
creditors. From a credit perspective, neither the debt
restructuring agreement at CIESA nor the expected indirect
change in TGS' ownership structure is expected to affect TGS'
ratings or outlook. Standard & Poor's has already incorporated
in its analysis a potential debt-for-equity exchange at CIESA
and projections of TGS' dividend payments to repay CIESA's
outstanding debt (which are severely limited by the terms and
conditions of TGS' debt). Finally, TGS' current ratings do not
factor in any financial support from its owners.

Primary Credit Analyst: Luciano Gremone, Buenos Aires (54) 11-
4891-2143; luciano_gremone@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Pablo Lutereau, Buenos Aires (54)
114-891-2125; pablo_lutereau@standardandpoors.com



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

AES TIETE: Bear Stearns Ups Rating to Outperform
------------------------------------------------
Investment house Bear Stearns upgraded its rating for Brazilian
utility AES-Tiete SA from peer perform to outperform. Dow Jones
Newswires reports that the revision followed an industry-wide
analysis by Bear Stearns for Brazil that focused on first-half
balance sheet performance and recent government-ordered rate
hikes for utilities.

Bear Stearns revised its price target for AES Tiete to 2006,
saying that, by the end of next year, the price could reach
US$20.66, up from the previous year-end 2005 price target of
US$16.00. On Sept. 5, the share closed at US$17.88.

Bear Stearns said AES Tiete's first-half cost profile was
better than expected. In addition, the Company obtained what
Bear Stearns called "a slightly higher than anticipated price
adjustment in the company's bilateral contract with
Eletropaulo," a Sao Paulo-based utility.

In 2006, all of Tiete's production will be sold via the
Eletropaulo contract at what Bear Stearns called "an attractive
gross price" of BRL132 ($1=BRL2.32) per megawatt hour.

"We expect the Company to continue its attractive 95% dividend
payout, as its parent companies need the funds to service debt
obligations. Our upgrade to Outperform reflects 16% upside to
our new price target plus a 10% dividend yield," Bear Stearns
added.

AES Tiete is controlled by the Brasiliana holding company,
which is a joint venture between U.S.-based AES Corp. (AES) and
Brazil's National Development Bank, or BNDES.


CELG: Aneel Authorizes Minor Rate Hike
--------------------------------------
State-owned utility Companhia Energetica de Goias (Celg)
secured authorization from the National Power Authority (Aneel)
to increase rates by 0.5%. According to Dow Jones Newswires,
the increase will be effective for one year beginning Sep. 12.

Analysts believe the combination of low inflation and a weak
U.S. dollar against the Brazilian real were responsible for the
relatively low rate increase. The strong real reduces overseas
borrowing costs for Brazilian companies.

Celg is 57%-controlled by the Goias state government. In April,
the Company, which serves the electricity needs of 1.8 million
people in the Goias state, said it intended to offer 25% of its
capital on the Brazilian Stock Exchange's Novo Mercado. The
offering has not yet taken place.

CONTACT: Companhia Energetica De Goias (Celg)
         Rua 2, Qd A - 37 S/N
         Jardim Goias, 74805-180 Goiania - GO 74043-011
         BRAZIL
         +55 62 243-1041
         +55 62 243-1070


GERDAU: Ratings Reflect Sector Volatility, Competition
------------------------------------------------------
Corporate Credit Rating
  Local currency:  BB+/Stable/--
  Foreign currency:  BB-/Stable/--

Major Rating Factors

Strengths:

    - Geographically diversified;
    - Strong market share and cost position in Brazil;
    - Increasingly benefiting from consolidation trends in
North
      America; and
    - Wide product scope in long steel products

Weaknesses:

    - Cyclical and volatile industry;
    - Concentrated in commodity-grade steel products;
    - Traditionally acquisitive and projecting significant
      capital expenditures for the next three years; and
    - Intermittent import competition and volatile performance
      in North America.

Rationale

The ratings on Brazil-based steelmaker Gerdau S.A. (Gerdau)
reflect Gerdau's exposure to the volatile and cyclical
commodity long steel industry, which is peculiarly vulnerable
to import competition in North America and to demand swings in
Brazil; an acquisitive growth strategy that may cause some
peaks of financial leverage in the future (despite the
currently very comfortable liquidity and debt profiles); and a
heavy capital budget during the next three years ($3.2 billion)
aimed at both brownfield and greenfield capacity expansions.

These negatives are partly mitigated by Gerdau's adequate
geographic diversification through the Americas, with very
strong and growing market shares in Brazil and North America,
respectively; an improving financial profile and the increasing
profitability of its North American operation; and the
expectation that the company will follow a prudent acquisition
policy in the long term that should not jeopardize capital
structure improvements accomplished in the past couple of
years.

The 'BB+' local currency rating is one-notch higher than that
of the 'BB' local currency sovereign rating on the Federative
Republic of Brazil, Gerdau's home country. This reflects
Standard & Poor's opinion that strengthening business
fundamentals for Gerdau's operations both in North America
(whose cash flow protection measures should remain strong) and
in Brazil (whose export capabilities will continue to be
expanded), coupled with the expectations of a sustained less
aggressive financial stance in the future, will allow Gerdau to
adequately weather stressful market and economic conditions in
Brazil and preserve overall profitability, cash flows, and
liquidity.

Gerdau is the largest long steel producer in Brazil and the
second-largest mini-mill steel maker in North America. The
company controls operations in Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Net sales, EBITDA, and total debt amounted to $7.2 billion,
$1.9 billion, and $2.5 billion (adjusted for operating leases
and pension liabilities in North America), respectively, in the
past 12 months ended June 30, 2005.

Gerdau's business position is satisfactory. Besides holding a
very strong market position in Brazil, with a market share of
48% in the context of a fairly concentrated industry
environment, Gerdau has managed to increase both geographic and
product diversification in the past couple of years by
expanding its North American subsidiary, Gerdau Ameristeel
Corp. (BB-/Positive/--), which today accounts for 45% of total
revenues and 30% of EBITDA and has been an active participant
in the consolidation of the steel industry in the region.
Gerdau has also gradually expanded its export capabilities with
the acquisition of an export-oriented integrated steel mill in
Minas Gerais (the Ouro Branco mill) that is currently being
expanded to 4.5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) of capacity
from its current 3.0 million mtpy. Strong distribution
capabilities and efficient scrap sourcing in the fragmented
Brazilian long steel market, as well as an increasingly spread-
out fabrication network in North America, are also long-term
positives. Still, Gerdau is essentially a commodity long steel
company (merchant and reinforcing bars and other common long
steel products), which thus expose it to the volatile steel
cycle and erratic profitability (more so in North America,
where Gerdau Ameristeel's exposure to intermittent import
threats is a concern, as currently evidenced by the weak wire
rod market). Part of this risk is mitigated by Gerdau's fair
product diversification across a broad end-user base, with no
significant exposure to any individual customer.

Gerdau's financial profile has been somewhat aggressive due to
the company's very active acquisition strategy, but credit
measures are currently very strong for the rating category
given the cash windfalls being enjoyed by the steel sector at
large. Market conditions have been drastically slowing down in
the U.S. and Europe, signaling that downward pressure can hit
both profitability and cash generation prospects in the short
term. As it is focused on commodity types of steel, Gerdau may
face downward pressure on margins as well, as market conditions
in Brazil are also relatively weak. Still, we expect Gerdau to
sustain profitability and cash flow protection measures at
higher levels than those of the last trough, given three main
factors: strengthened cost competitive export capabilities
should help the company weather domestic downturns in Brazil;
operating improvement at recent acquired assets, larger scale,
synergy and best-practice gains, as well as a relatively more
concentrated industry environment for Gerdau Ameristeel should
allow for stronger results; and broader geographic
diversification, with the company's strong foothold both in
South and North America (more or less in 50-50 proportion)
should permit Gerdau to benefit from different regional demand
patterns, also contributing to margin and cash flow stability.

While we believe Gerdau will maintain a prudent approach to
acquisitions, leverage spikes may occur from time to time,
which may put some pressure on the company's credit profile if
market conditions suddenly and simultaneously shift
unfavorably. Nevertheless, we also expect Gerdau to sustain
moderate leverage and a less aggressive approach toward
acquisitions, even assuming this growth strategy.

Liquidity

Gerdau's current liquidity is very strong. The company holds
cash reserves of $1.1 billion as of June 2005, out of which
approximately $155 million are at Gerdau Ameristeel and the
rest are available elsewhere in the organization to service the
parent company's obligations. Exposure to short-term debt
maturities have been dramatically reduced through 2004, and the
current debt amortization schedule is smooth: debt maturities
through June 2006 amount to approximately $550 million and are
followed by a level of $300 million of debt amortizations each
of the next three years. Those compare with FFO of $1.5 billion
and free operating cash flow (FOCF) of $300 million in the past
12 months ended June 30, 2005.

With significant capital expenditures projected for the next
three years (totaling $3.2 billion through 2007), Gerdau might
well reduce FOCF to weaker levels in the medium term, but cash
liquidity and long-term credit financing already secured for
some of the projects under implementation grant the company
some additional comfort to manage organic growth. While Gerdau
does not count on committed credit facilities, a forthcoming
perpetual notes issuance of $250 million should also help
further strengthen Gerdau's short-term liquidity and overall
capital structure and grant it some additional flexibility to
manage investments in the near term.

Outlook

The stable outlook reflects our expectations of prudent debt
management and acquisition policy in the future. Gerdau's
credit measures are substantially strong today as a result of
the strong performance of the steel industry worldwide, but we
see fundamental improvement in both Gerdau's business and
financial profiles that should be preserved under a less
favorable environment. Weaker market conditions should cut part
of the comfort cushion reported in June 2005 but should still
be consistent with the rating category. Indeed, while we
believe Gerdau's credit ratios may well decline in the future
from its current peak, we still expect it to remain at
substantially stronger levels than those of the last trough in
2001-2002. As such, we see Gerdau's through-the-cycle funds
from operations (FFO) to total debt, total debt to EBITDA, and
EBITDA interest coverage ratios hovering in the range of about
30%-40%, 1.5x-2.0x, and 5.0x-10x, respectively (currently at a
robust 65%, 1.2x, and 14.1x in the past 12 months ended June
30, 2005). In a severe downcycle either in Brazil or worldwide,
we would not expect Gerdau to report these ratios to be any
weaker than 20%, 3.0x, and 4.0x, respectively.

Aggressive M&A activity or expansion of Gerdau's current
capital expenditures plans could put downward pressure on the
ratings or trigger a lowering of the ratings or an outlook
revision to negative. While upside potential is somewhat
limited in the near term given the company's growth strategy, a
positive ratings action or outlook revision could be predicated
on larger synergetic gains in North America, performance
enhancements in Brazil, and evidence of commitment with target
financial ratios that are more conservative than the current
ones.

Primary Credit Analyst: Reginaldo Takara, Sao Paulo (55) 11-
5501-8932; reginaldo_takara@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Beatriz Degani, Sao Paulo (55) 11-
5501-8933; beatriz_degani@standardandpoors.com


GERDAU: CADE to Review Price Fixing Allegations Wednesday
---------------------------------------------------------
Justice Ministry Antitrust Division (CADE) will hear Wednesday
a case involving allegations of price fixing against
steelmakers Gerdau, Belgo-Mineira and Barra Mansa, reports Dow
Jones Newswires. The hearing was originally scheduled for Aug.
31. But, on that same day, Gerdau obtained an injunction and
faxed it to CADE about 30 minutes into the scheduled hearing,
which was then suspended.

Last week, however, a panel of judges voted 2-1 to overturn the
injunction, allowing the case to proceed before CADE.

The case dates back to 1999, when two construction trade
associations complained to the Justice Ministry Consumer
Affairs Division (SDE) that Gerdau, Belgo-Mineira and Barra
Mansa fixed prices for steel bars used in construction.

SDE submitted a report to CADE in September 2003, saying that
their investigation showed the companies had held meetings to
divide the Brazilian market and set prices for steel bars.

If the three companies are found guilty of the accusations,
they could face fines of up to 30% of gross revenue for the
year preceding the date of the initial complaint, according to
CADE.

Gerdau said it would appeal CADE's authority to judge the case.

"Gerdau affirms that it will continue fighting at every legal
venue to have its rights recognized," the Company said in a
statement.


ODEBRECHT: S&P Assigns 'BB-' to New $100M Bond Issue
----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB-' rating to
the forthcoming perpetual bonds issuance by Odebrecht Overseas
Ltd. (OOL) in the amount of $100 million and unconditionally
guaranteed by Brazil-based heavy engineering and construction
(E&C) company Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. (CNO).

At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'BB-' local
and foreign currency ratings on CNO. The outlook on CNO is
stable.

"The perpetual bonds issued by OOL will be guaranteed on a
senior unsecured basis by CNO and will allow for early
redemption only at the company's option, in whole but not in
part, starting in September 2010," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Reginaldo Takara. "The net proceeds will be used
for general corporate purposes, including working capital and
repayment of long-term debt."

The ratings on CNO reflect the company's exposure to the
competitive, volatile, and cyclical heavy E&C business, some
backlog concentration in public works in economically and
politically volatile countries, and a somewhat leveraged
financial profile. These risks are somewhat offset by CNO's
long-standing experience in the E&C business, the quality and
sector and geographic diversification of its backlog, and
consistent profitability and cash flow protection measures
within the past few years as a result of significant efforts to
focus on more profitable projects.

CNO is the largest heavy construction company in Brazil, with
net sales and EBITDA of $2.3 billion and $165 million in the
last 12 months ended June 30, 2005. The company reported a
total debt balance of $499.2 million on the same date.

The stable outlook for the local currency rating reflects our
expectations that CNO's financial ratios will continue
improving through 2005 with further debt reduction, allowing
for credit measures to comfortably fall into its current rating
category. Reducing refinancing risks thanks to debt repayment
and the standby committed credit facility that goes over 2006
are also short-term positives. We foresee positive trends for
CNO's operating performance in 2005 and 2006, with the recovery
of Brazilian projects, stable margins at its traditional
markets in South America and Angola, and increasing activity in
the U.S., Portugal, and Mexico. However, a positive revision of
the ratings would depend on significant improvement on credit
measures, essentially with an overall lower debt position
relative to long-term cash flows. A reversal in trends would be
first signaled by a deterioration in backlog; harsher changes
in profitability trends and cash generation would also be
reasons for a negative ratings revision. The stable outlook for
the foreign currency rating reflects that of the foreign
currency sovereign rating of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Primary Credit Analyst: Reginaldo Takara, Sao Paulo (55) 11-
5501-8932; reginaldo_takara@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Milena Zaniboni, Sao Paulo (55) 11-
5501-8945; milena_zaniboni@standardandpoors.com



VARIG: Reports Lower Net Loss for Jan-July 2005 Period
------------------------------------------------------
Cash-strapped airline Viacao Aerea Riograndense SA (Varig)
reported Thursday a net loss of BRL508.7 million for the first
seven months of 2005, lower than the loss of BRL542.1 million
in the same period of 2004, relates Dow Jones Newswires.

During the seven months ended July, the airline's net revenue
was up at BRL4.1 billion, compared to BRL3.9 billion a year
ago, while costs rose 16% to BRL3.2 billion.

Financial costs fell 47% to BRL215.8 million, primarily due to
BRL100 million in foreign exchange gains. The Brazilian real
has appreciated significantly during 2005, reducing the cost of
U.S. dollar-denominated debts.

Varig will be reporting financial results on a monthly basis as
part of the court-managed financial restructuring process that
began on June 17.

The airline filed for a judicial reorganization proceeding
under Brazil's New Bankruptcy and Restructuring Law due to a
competitive landscape, high fuel costs, cash flow deficit, and
high operating leverage. The new law, which took effect on June
9, 2005, is similar to a Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession under
the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, under which debtors remain in
possession and control of their estate pending the Judicial
Reorganization.

Sergio Bermudes, Esq., at Escritorio de Advocacia Sergio
Bermudes, represents the carrier in Brazil.

As of March 31, 2005, Varig reported BRL2,979,309,000 in total
assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total debts.

Varig is scheduled to present to the court this month its debt
restructuring plan, which if authorized, would then be put to
creditors for their approval.

Recent reports revealed that a number of groups have presented
financing plans to Varig or to the court handling the debt
restructuring process.

Estado news agency reported that a group of Italian and U.S.
private equity investors have offered to invest up to US$1.2
billion to buy control of Varig from the Fundacao Rubem Berta,
which owns a majority of the airline's shares. According to the
report, the investors are looking at a four- to five-year
turnaround for Varig.

At the same time, Brazilian businessman Nelson Tanure, owner of
the Jornal do Brasil and Gazeta Mercantil newspapers, is
reported to have offered to invest US$90 million in Varig.



===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

ECOPETROL: Oxy Secures La Cira-Infantas Contract
------------------------------------------------
State oil firm Ecopetrol awarded the local Occidental Andina
unit of US oil company Occidental (NYSE: OXY) a contract to
boost recovery and reserves on the La Cira-Infantas field in
Santander department, reports Business News Americas.

Ecopetrol, which has been seeking to reduce declining
production on mature fields, invited eight foreign companies to
bid on the contract in July 2003 and technical and economic
studies took two years.

The project is divided into three stages. In the first two,
pilot projects will be carried out in small areas of the field
to determine their viability and the third and final stage will
depend on their success.

Oxy will invest a least US$80 million in the first two stages
of the project. According to Ecopetrol, Oxy's investment could
increase "significantly" if the final stage of the project
proves viable.

La Cira-Infantas was discovered in the early 1900s and its
maximum production reached 60,000 barrels a day (b/d). Today,
the field's output has declined to 5,400b/d, equivalent to 1%
of the country's total output.



===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================

BICSA: Ratings Reflect Low Profitability, Weak Loan Portfolio
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rationale

The ratings assigned consider Banco Internacional de Costa Rica
S.A.'s (Bicsa) low profitability and the weak growth of its
loan portfolio, along with lower capitalization than one year
ago. The ratings are supported by the short-term nature of its
loan portfolio, the current refocus of the operations in its
core business of trade finance, and the reorganization that
should improve the future efficiency of the bank. Although the
ratings are assigned to Bicsa Panama, Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services monitors the bank on a consolidated basis. The
negative outlook indicates that despite the efforts taken to
improve the overall business, both loan growth and profits
could remain weak given the strong competition in the bank's
core business, as well as moderate growth in the Central
American region, the bank's core market.

In the past two years, credit events have affected the bank's
bottom line and asset quality, as credit underwriting diverged
somewhat from Bicsa's core business, which is trade finance.
Some of the nontrade finance operations were originated to
compensate overall low loan growth and to improve margins. In
our view, some of those loans do not fully match Bicsa's core
business and have a higher degree of risk than do trade finance
operations. Even though an aggressive write-off policy has
improved asset quality, should new problems arise, asset
quality could deteriorate again.

Strong competition in Bicsa's main line of business has
hindered adequate loan growth, and we expect this trend to
continue. Profitability has been low as a consequence of lack
of growth and high cost structure and as provisions for credit
problems depressed profits. In the future, thanks to the
reorganization and cost reduction implied, profits should
improve, but could remain below those of other financial
institutions in the same rating category.

As Bicsa's profitability has not been high enough to increase
capital organically in the past three years, and its main
shareholders approved a $41 million dividend payment in 2004,
Bicsa's adjusted total equity ratio was reduced to 14% as of
June 2004 from 17% in December 2003. As capital represents a
less important source of funding, Bicsa will have to replace it
with other funding sources.

The short-term nature of its loan portfolio gives Bicsa more
flexibility than other banks to adapt to changing market
conditions. In addition, after September 2004, the bank has
refocused in trade finance and has reorganized its loan
origination group. It also transferred its credit card business
and loans denominated in Colones to Banco Nacional de Costa
Rica, its shareholder. Nevertheless, at June 2005, Bicsa's
consumer loan portfolio increased significantly and while it
still represents a small portion of total loans, this is not
the bank's core business. Although Bicsa's number of employees
has been cut in half, efficiency levels have not improved
because income generation has not been sufficient yet.

Outlook

Although Bicsa's core business was refocused and operating
costs were reduced, we still believe that management faces
important challenges. There is significant competition in the
trade finance business, which is driving margins to very low
levels. In addition, economic growth in the Central American
region is expected to remain moderate. Therefore, we do not
expect Bicsa's future performance to change dramatically.
Should the bank's financial performance deteriorate further,
the ratings could be lowered. Nevertheless, if financial
performance improves significantly, the outlook could be
revised to stable, and if this becomes a consistent trend, the
ratings could be raised.

Primary Credit Analyst: Angelica Bala, Mexico City (52) 55-
5081-4405; angelica_bala@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Leonardo Bravo, Mexico City (52)55-
5081-4406; leonardo_bravo@standardandpoors.com



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

KAISER ALUMINUM: Court OK's 2nd Amended Disclosure Statement
------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation announced Friday that the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has approved the
Company's Disclosure Statement that relates to its Second
Amended Plan of Reorganization (POR). The court has scheduled a
confirmation hearing with respect to the POR for January 9,
2006 and January 10, 2006. Assuming plan confirmation at that
time, the company could emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of
January or early February 2006.

"Today's [Friday] ruling completes the first of three final
milestones to the company's successful completion of its
reorganization," said Jack Hockema, president and chief
executive officer, Kaiser Aluminum. "We anticipate that the
remaining two -- voting by the creditors and confirmation by
the bankruptcy and district courts -- will be completed
according to the court's schedule within the next four months.
As a result, we now have a definitive, court-approved schedule
to emerge early next year as a globally competitive company
with a strong balance sheet, best-in-class operations, and the
ability to grow in our key transportation and industrial
markets."

Mr. Hockema continued, "I credit today's [Friday] achievement
to the outstanding support of our employees, customers,
suppliers, and other stakeholders who share our commitment of
driving Kaiser Aluminum to its full potential in terms of
customer service, quality, product development, and financial
performance."

The Company expects to commence a 60-day solicitation of
acceptances of the POR by creditors by September 15, 2005.
Because the POR reflects previously disclosed agreements
reached with the company's major creditor constituents, the
company is optimistic that it will receive the necessary
acceptances for plan confirmation. However, no assurance can be
given that the plan will ultimately receive the necessary
acceptances by creditors, or be confirmed by the Bankruptcy
Court or U.S. District Court, or that the transactions
contemplated by the plan will ultimately be consummated.

As more fully discussed in the company Quarterly report on Form
10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2005, the Company's
restructuring would resolve prepetition claims that are
currently subject to compromise. Those claims include, among
others, retiree medical, pension, asbestos, and other tort,
bond, and note claims. The plan would also result in the
cancellation of the equity interests of current stockholders
and the distribution of equity in the emerging Company to
creditors or creditor representatives. The majority of the new
equity would be distributed to two voluntary employee benefit
associations that were created in 2004 to provide medical
benefits or funds to defray the cost of medical benefits for
salaried and hourly retirees. Retiree medical plans existing at
that time were cancelled. All personal injury claims relating
to both prepetition and future claims for asbestos, silica and
coal tar pitch volatiles, and existing claims regarding noise-
induced hearing loss, would be permanently resolved by the
formation of certain trusts funded primarily by the Company's
rights to proceeds from certain of its insurance policies and
the establishment of channeling injunctions that would
permanently channel these liabilities away from the Company and
into the trusts.

Complete details are included in the plan and disclosure
statement, which the Company has posted in the "Restructuring"
section of its web site.

Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (OTCBB:KLUCQ) is a leading producer
of fabricated aluminum products for aerospace and high-
strength, general engineering, automotive, and custom
industrial applications. The Company has more than 2,000
employees and 11 plants in North America having the capacity to
produce more than 400 million pounds annually of value-added
sheet, plate, extrusions, forgings, rod, bar, and tube. Upon
emergence, the company also expects to continue to own its 49
percent interest in Anglesey Aluminium Limited, which operates
an aluminum smelter in Wales.

CONTACT: Kaiser Aluminum
         Geoff Mordock
         Phone: 213-489-8271
         URL: www.kaiseraluminum.com


SANS SOUCI: Carreras Sells Hotel to Couples for $18.75M
-------------------------------------------------------
The Carreras Group has sold its high-end hotel Sans Souci
Resort and Spa in White River, St Mary to Lee Issa's Couples
Resorts for US$18.75 million, The Jamaica Observer reports.

Carreras chief executive officer Michael Bernard signed the
agreement with Issa in the Sans Souci boardroom. The deal would
be fully consummated on September 11, at which time the resort
would be renamed Couples Sans Souci.

According to Issa, the payment to Carreras would be in lump sum
and largely funded through loans.

Gary Stephens, the director of operations for Couples Resorts,
said that under the agreement, the full compliment of 280 staff
members and management team will remain at Sans Souci, with
Pierre Battaglia remaining as general manager, in order not to
disrupt operations at the resort.

The permanent staff, who will receive redundancy payment from
Carreras, will be offered the usual three-month employment
option and casual staff one-month. After which their
performance will be reviewed to determine their future with the
hotel.

"Sans Souci is known for its quality service and we certainly
don't want to change that," said Mr. Stephens. "In fact, we
want to add to that. "

The new owners plan to increase the number of rooms as one
strategy towards driving revenue, cutting average fixed
overhead and shoring up the bottom line.

Lee Issa's Couples Resorts will be looking at expanding once
the Couples Sans Souci name will be firmly put out, Stephens
said.

Couples also plan to include in the pre-paid package full water
sports activities such as scuba diving.

Sans Souci has 148 suites spread across 27 acres of beachfront.
The hotel was bought by Carreras from Pan Jam in 1990.

For several years, the hotel was managed by John Issa's
SuperClubs Group, but a few years ago SuperClubs fell out with
Carreras, which then brought the management in-house.

Carreras has been offloading assets in Jamaica to focus on
tobacco distribution and funds management. The hotel was its
last remaining significant non-tobacco asset.

The sale of the luxury all-inclusive hotel therefore ends the
group's involvement in the tourism industry while it
strengthens Couples' position in the hotel business.

The new acquisition will bring to four the number of hotels
operated by the House of Issa and increase the room count to
900.



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

ASARCO: U.S. Trustee Appoints 7-Member Creditors' Committee
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pursuant to Section 1102(a) and 1102(b) of the Bankruptcy Code,
Richard W. Simmons, the United States Trustee for Region 7,
appoints seven creditors to the Official Unsecured Creditors'
Committee in ASARCO LLC's case:

      (1) Deutsche Bank Trust Company
          60 Wall Street, 60-2715
          New York, NY 10005
          Attention: Mr. Stanley Burg
          Phone: (212) 250-5280

      (2) Wilmington Trust Company
          Rodney Square North
          1100 North Market Street
          Wilmington, Delaware 19890
          Attention: Mr. Steve Cimalore
          Phone: (302) 636-6058

      (3) Road Machinery, LLC
          716 S. Seventh Street
          Phoenix, Arizona 85034
          Attention: Mr. Chuck Paugh
          Phone: (602) 252-7121

      (4) Hecla Mining Company
          6500 Mineral Drive, Suite 200
          Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 3815
          Attention: Mr. Mike White
          Phone: (208) 769-4110

      (5) Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
          1200 K Street, N.W.
          Washington D.C. 20005-4026
          Attention: Mr. Roger Reiersen
          Phone: (202) 326-4070 x 3704

      (6) United Steelworkers
          Five Gateway Center
          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
          Attention: David R. Jury
          Phone: (412) 562-2545

      (7) The Doe Run Resources Corporation
          1801 Park 270 Drive, Suite 300
          St. Louis, Missouri 63146
          Attention: Mr. Lou Marucheau

Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, ASARCO LLC --
http://www.asarco.com/-- is an integrated copper mining,
smelting and refining company.  Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. is
ASARCO's ultimate parent.  The Company filed for chapter 11
protection on Aug. 9, 2005 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Case No. 05-
21207). James R. Prince, Esq., Jack L. Kinzie, Esq., and Eric
A. Soderlund, Esq., at Baker Botts L.L.P., and Nathaniel Peter
Holzer, Esq., Shelby A. Jordan, Esq., and Harlin C. Womble,
Esq., at Jordan, Hyden, Womble & Culbreth, P.C., represent the
Debtor in its restructuring efforts.  When the Debtor filed for
protection from its creditors, it listed $600 million in total
assets and $1 billion in total debts.

The Debtor has five affiliates that filed for chapter 11
protection on April 11, 2005 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Case Nos. 05-
20521 thru 05-20525).  They are Lac d'Amiante Du Quebec Ltee,
CAPCO Pipe Company, Inc., Cement Asbestos Products Company,
Lake Asbestos Of Quebec, Ltd., and LAQ Canada, Ltd.  Details
about their asbestos-driven chapter 11 filings have appeared in
the Troubled Company Reporter since Apr. 18, 2005.  ASARCO has
asked that the five subsidiary cases be jointly administered
with its chapter 11 case. (ASARCO Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 4;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


SATMEX: Strikes Deal With Arianespace For SatMex 6 Launch
---------------------------------------------------------
Mexican satellite operator Satelites Mexicanos (Satmex) has
signed an accord with Arianespace to launch its SatMex 6
satellite. According to Dow Jones Newswires, the satellite,
whose launch is seen as essential for Satmex's future survival,
is currently in the U.S. where it is being reconditioned.
Satmex must get the satellite airborne by June 30, 2006 to
comply with an agreement reached with U.S. creditors earlier
this year.

Satmex said it has the financial resources needed for the
launch, but didn't say where the money came from. The Company
has estimated the cost of launching Satmex 6 at US$55 million.

Satmex, which is in default on $524 million of bond debt,
reached agreement last month with U.S. bondholders under which
the creditors withdrew an involuntary Chapter 11 petition from
a U.S. court as SatMex seeks to restructure through Mexican
courts, although the creditors retain the right to return to
the U.S. court if terms of the agreement aren't met.

Satmex is owned by Loral Space & Communications Ltd. of the
U.S., and Principia SA. The Mexican government has a 23.6% non-
voting stake in the Company.


VITRO: Signs Technical Consulting Agreement with Allied Glass
-------------------------------------------------------------
Vitro and Allied Glass Containers, the Leeds based glass
packaging specialist, have recently entered into a technical
assistance agreement with Vitro, in which the United Kingdom
company will provide a practical support programme, structured
around the company's knowledge and experience in the production
of intricate bottle shapes.

This commits Allied Glass Containers to providing a designated
team of specialists, who will visit Vitro production facilities
to give technical assistance, and providing bespoke training
programmes at their two manufacturing sites in the UK. In
addition, Allied Glass is also responsible for giving support
in areas including the production of specification and mould
drawings and 3D modeling for shaped containers.

"We are honored to work with Allied Glass Containers in order
to provide our current and future customers with the most
innovative products that will allow them to be ahead of the
consumers market trend, said Alfonso Gomez Palacio, President
of Vitro's Glass Containers business unit.

Richard Summers, who is the Operations Director at Allied Glass
Containers' Leeds, site says, "Here at Allied Glass we are very
flattered to have been approached by Vitro to develop this
support and development programme as it reflects our world-wide
reputation for the production of intricate glass containers."

Vitro's Glass Containers business has developed the distinctive
ability to satisfy precisely its customers' needs; this allows
us to participate actively in several high-demanding niche
markets, especially those showing growth potential, such as
beverages, beer, wines and liquors, cosmetics and fragrances,
among others. For that reason, Vitro is leading the industry in
Mexico in several fundamental areas, including its development
of innovative, state-of-the-art technology to manufacture
value-added containers, its care for the environment, and its
social responsibility.

Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO; BMV: VITROA), through its
subsidiary companies, is one of the world's leading glass
producers. Vitro is a major participant in three principal
businesses: flat glass, glass containers and glassware. Its
subsidiaries serve multiple product markets, including
construction and automotive glass; food and beverage, wine,
liquor, cosmetics and pharmaceutical glass containers;
glassware for commercial, industrial and retail uses. Vitro
also produces raw materials, equipment and capital goods for
industrial uses. Founded in 1909 in Monterrey, Mexico-based
Vitro has joint ventures with major world-class partners and
industry leaders that provide its subsidiaries with access to
international markets, distribution channels and state-of-the-
art technology. Vitro's subsidiaries have facilities and
distribution centers in eight countries, located in North,
Central and South America, and Europe, and export to more than
70 countries worldwide.

CONTACT: Vitro, S.A. de C.V.
         Media
         Albert Chico Smith
         Phone: 52 (81) 8863-1335
         E-mail: achico@vitro.com

         Financial Community
         Leticia Vargas/Adrian Meouchi
         Phone: 52 (81) 8863-1210/1350
         E-mail: lvargasv@vitro.com
                 ameouchi@vitro.com

         URL: http://www.vitro.com

         US Contacts
         Susan Borinelli/Michael Fehle
         The Breakstone Group
         Phone: 646-452-2336
         E-mail: sborinelli@breakston-group.com
                 mfehle@breakstone-group.com


WOLVERINE TUBE: Restructuring Includes Mexico Expansion
-------------------------------------------------------
Wolverine Tube, Inc. (NYSE:WLV) announced Thursday several
strategic initiatives in its continuing effort to reduce
operating expenses, enhance cash flow and improve operating
efficiencies. These initiatives include a reduction in the
Company's corporate headquarters' workforce by nearly twenty
percent, a reduction of certain support functions in its U.S.
manufacturing operations, a reduction in leased facilities for
executive and administrative offices and the continued process
of production rationalization in response to global
competition. The Company currently expects to take a pre-tax
restructuring charge over the next few quarters totaling
approximately $1.5 million ($0.07 per diluted share after tax)
to account for these initiatives, including severance and other
related expenses. These actions should result in year-over-year
cost savings of up to approximately $4.0 million annually, once
fully implemented, primarily reflecting reduced Selling,
General and Administrative expenses.

"While such decisions are difficult, they are at the same time
necessary," said Dennis Horowitz, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. "We intend to continue to drive changes that will
allow us to compete more profitably on a global basis. We
believe that these actions will more powerfully position our
Company going forward." Dennis Horowitz continued,
"Specifically, the Company will reduce headcount across a broad
number of corporate functions. At the same time, efforts within
these functions will be more sharply focused so as to provide
the same, or even a more enhanced, level of support to our
customers on a global basis."

The Company will also be reducing certain indirect personnel,
administrative functions and support staff at various U.S.
manufacturing operations. The Company will relocate its
corporate credit function from its current leased facility to
existing office space at the Company's Decatur, AL corporate
location and the current Huntsville, AL headquarters leased
office space will be reduced by nearly fifty percent.

The Company plans to expand its Shanghai, China operation to
meet local increasing customer demand for technical tube and
fabricated products. As previously discussed, the Company is
nearing the completion of the relocation of its North American
technical tube manufacturing operations from its Decatur, AL
facility to facilities in Shawnee, OK and Monterrey, Mexico.
Further, the Company continues to expand its fabricated
products offering in Mexico.

Dennis Horowitz commented, "While these actions affect a broad
range of functions and are far-reaching, they also enable us to
continue to support customers at the high level they have come
to expect from Wolverine. We will continue to take steps to
match our business with current and anticipated global demand,
and we will continue to examine prudent ways to reduce expense
levels and increase business. With these changes and our
continued focus on profit and cash generation, Wolverine should
be in a stronger position to compete in an ever changing global
marketplace."

ABOUT WOLVERINE TUBE, INC.

Wolverine Tube, Inc. is a world-class quality partner,
providing its customers with copper and copper alloy tube,
fabricated products, metal joining products as well as copper
and copper alloy rod, bar and other products.

CONTACT:  Wolverine Tube, Inc.
          Thomas B Sabol, Senior Vice President and
          Chief Financial Officer
          Tel: (256) 580-3500
          URL: http://www.wlv.com
               http://www.silvaloy.com




===========
P A N A M A
===========

WILLBROS GROUP: Seeks Approval to Alter Note Terms
--------------------------------------------------
Willbros Group, Inc. (NYSE: WG) is soliciting consents from the
holders of its outstanding 2.75% convertible senior notes due
2024 to amend certain provisions in the indenture governing the
notes.  By consenting to the proposed amendments to the
indenture, holders of the notes will also be consenting to:

   -- waive any potential defaults that may have occurred
      before the proposed amendments become effective;

   -- rescind a purported notice of default that was delivered
      to Willbros under the indenture; and

   -- clarify that for a period ending on the nine-month
      anniversary of the date the proposed amendments become
      effective, no default will occur if Willbros fails to
      timely file a periodic report with the SEC.

Approval of the proposed amendments and waiver requires the
consent of the holders of a majority in principal amount of the
outstanding notes.  The record date for the solicitation is
Sept. 6, 2005.

The proposed amendments provide that:

    * the initial date on or after which Willbros may redeem
all
      or any portion of the notes will change from March 15,
      2011 to March 15, 2013; and

    * in the event of a fundamental change involving a sale of
      Willbros in which at least 10 percent of the sales
      proceeds are paid in cash, Willbros will pay a make-whole
      payment to the holders of the notes.

The make-whole payment will consist of no more than the present
value of two years of scheduled interest payments on the notes.

No separate cash fee is being paid to holders for delivering
consents.

                  Financial Filing Delay

Willbros previously disclosed that it would not be able to
timely file its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2004, and its quarterly reports for the periods ended
March 31, 2005, and June 30, 2005, and Willbros has not filed
them to date.

On June 10, 2005, Willbros received a letter from a
representative of Whitebox Advisors, LLC, asserting that, as a
result of Willbros' failure to timely file with the SEC its
2004 Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the
quarter ended March 31, 2005, Whitebox Advisors was placing
Willbros on notice of an event of default under the indenture.
Willbros has previously indicated that it does not believe that
it has failed to perform its obligation under the indenture.

On Aug. 19, 2005, Willbros reached an agreement with Whitebox
Advisors, the beneficial owner of approximately 25.1% of the
notes as of June 10, 2005, pursuant to which it agreed to
prepare an amendment to the indenture and solicit approval for
the proposed amendments and waiver.  Whitebox Advisors has
agreed to deliver a letter of consent in favor of the proposed
amendments and waiver.

The solicitation expires at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on
Sept. 21, 2005, unless extended by Willbros.  Willbros will
announce any extensions of the solicitation by press release no
later than 9:00 a.m., New York City time, the day after
expiration of the solicitation.

Willbros has retained Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to serve as
solicitation agent for the solicitation, and D.F. King & Co.,
Inc. to serve as the information agent and tabulation agent.

Questions regarding the solicitation may be directed to the
solicitation agent at (877) 696-2327 (toll free).  Copies of
the consent solicitation statement and related documents may be
obtained at no charge by contacting the information agent by
telephone at (888) 886-4425 (toll-free) or (212) 269-5550, or
in writing at 48 Wall Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10005.

Willbros Group, Inc. -- http://www.willbros.com/-- is an
independent contractor serving the oil, gas and power
industries, providing engineering and construction, and
facilities development and operations services to industry and
government entities worldwide.



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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 America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and
Sheryl Joy P. Olano, Editors.

Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding,
electronic re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited
without prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


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