TCR_Public/990309.MBX T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R
    Tuesday, March 9, 1999, Vol. 3, No. 46


APS: Court Approves Sale of Distribution Centers and Stores
CALDOR: Ames Agrees To Buy 8 Stores and Center
CALDOR: Workers May Lose Millions In Back Pay
COHO ENERGY: Receives Notice of Default
COMMERCIAL FINANCIAL: Order Permits ABS Committee To Object

DENBURY RESOURCES: Notifies SEC of Shareholder Meeting
EAGLE PICHER: Annual Report Filed With SEC
FIRSTPLUS: Subsidiary Files Chapter 11
FIX CORP: Pressured Into Chapter 11
FRETTER: Order Confirms Liquidating Plan

GENEVA STEEL: Taps Arthur Andersen
HIP of New Jersey: Dissolved By Judge
HOLLYWOOD THEATRES: Agrees To Recapitalization
INTERNATIONAL HERITAGE: Creditors Object to Settlement
J.PETERMAN: Saved By Paul Harris

MEDPARTNERS: Plan Ordered To Stop Transferring Funds
MRS TECHNOLOGY: Converted To Chapter 7
NU-KOTE: Bar Date Set For April 15
PANGBURN CANDY: Russell Stover Submits Winning Bid
PENN TRAFFIC: Bondholders To Swap Notes For Equity/New Debt

PRIMESTAR INC: Extends Tender Offer
RAND ENERGY: Seeks More Time To Assume or Reject Leases
RIO GRANDE: Exco Announces Plan Confirmation
RIVER OAKS: Committee Seeks Conversion or Trustee
STERLING CHEMICALS: Announces Plans To Construct Plant

THORN APPLE: Files Chapter 11
UNITED COMPANIES: Trading Suspended

Meetings, Conferences and Seminars


APS: Court Approves Sale of Distribution Centers and Stores
On January 29, 1999, the United States Bankruptcy Court for
the District of Delaware gave approval to APS Holding
Corporation and its direct and indirect subsidiaries to  
sell four distribution centers and seventy-six associated
company-owned stores  to Auto Parts Express, LLC. APE was
formed by three former senior management employees of the
Company for the purpose of acquiring certain assets of the  
Company. The purchased assets included inventory,
accounts and notes  receivable, equipment trademarks and
service marks, and other fixed assets and  contract rights.  
Additionally, APE assumed leases with respect to the  
distribution centers and certain of the stores, and entered
into a sublease  with respect to one of the stores. The
purchase price paid by APE on the Closing Date was
approximately $27 million in cash.

The Company has effected the sales to purchasers other than
APE of assets associated with 3 of its distribution
centers, 38 of its stores, and 26 of its Installers'
Service Warehouses, for an aggregate amount of
approximately $27 million in cash.  Additionally, the
Company has entered into agreements to sell assets
associated with 1 of its stores and 2 of its Installers'
Service Warehouses, for an aggregate amount of
approximately $400,000 in cash.  (States SEC - 03/05/99)

CALDOR: Ames Agrees To Buy 8 Stores and Center
Ames Department Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMES) announced on
March 8, 1999 that it has signed an agreement with the
Caldor Corporation to purchase the operating leases,
fixtures and equipment of 8 store locations and a
distribution center in Westfield, Massachusetts for $40

The offer is subject to the bidding process and subsequent
approval by the Bankruptcy Court. A hearing is expected to
be held later this month. If approved by the court, Ames
will take possession of the sites following inventory
clearance and cleanup.

The purchase price includes a store in Stoneham,
Massachusetts and seven stores in Connecticut, specifically
in Manchester, Middletown, Torrington, Vernon, Waterford,
West Hartford and Willimantic. In addition, the Ames  
purchase price includes a fully equipped, state-of-the-art,
650,000 sq./ft. distribution center in Westfield,

CALDOR: Workers May Lose Millions In Back Pay
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports on February 13, 1999
that workers at Caldor stores stand to lose millions of
dollars in accumulated back vacation and sick pay, because
no money has yet been set aside in bankruptcy proceedings
to cover the company obligation, union officials say.

Thousands of workers, including dozens in Northampton, may
lose those benefits from the doomed retailer unless a U.S.
Bankruptcy Court judge in Manhattan rules otherwise,
according to the attorney representing the United Food and
Commercial Workers Union.

There is no severance pay package in the UFCW's contracts
with Caldor, which plans to close its 145 stores within
months. There are health benefits which will continue to be
covered, according to the attorney.  In bankruptcy court
next week, a lawyer for the union is expected to press the
judge to grant the workers priority status, which would
increase their chances of winning compensation for the back
pay and vacation benefits.  Putting nothing in the
company's liquidation budget for benefits due to employees
is "a slap in the face" to workers, said Daniel Clifford,
vice president for the Springfield-based UFCW.

COHO ENERGY: Receives Notice of Default
Coho Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:COHO) announced that it has
received written notice from the Company's lenders  
to the effect that the Company is in default under the
Company's existing credit agreement.

The reason for the default, as cited in the notice, is the
non-payment of the first of five equal installments, which
was due March 2, 1999, on the difference between the total
outstanding amount of the loan ($239.6 million) and the
borrowing base ($150 million) as redetermined by the
Company's lenders on Feb. 22, 1999. The lenders reserved
all rights, remedies and privileges as a result of the
payment default, but the Company expects to continue to
discuss a financing alternative with the bank group.

The Company is continuing to review all of its options and
is working on the development of a comprehensive plan to
restructure its financial obligations but cannot give any
assurances that a restructuring can be accomplished.

COMMERCIAL FINANCIAL: Order Permits ABS Committee To Object
In the case of Commercial Financial Services, Inc., and
CF/SPC NGU, INC., the court grants leave for the Official
Committee of Assetbacked Security Holders to reply to the
objections to retaining Gable & Gotwals and Fried, Frank,
Harris, Shriver & Jacobson as attorneys and Houlihan Lokey
Howard & Zukin, Inc. as its financial advisor

DENBURY RESOURCES: Notifies SEC of Shareholder Meeting
Denbury Resources Inc. notifies the SEC that the company is
calling a special meeting of stockholders of Denbury  
Resources Inc. to vote on:

The move of the company's domicile from Canada to the
United States as a Delaware corporation;

The sale of 18,552,876 of Denbury's common shares to an
affiliate of the Texas Pacific Group, referred to as "TPG,"
our largest shareholder, for U.S. $100 million, or $5.39
per share; and

The increase in the number of common shares available for
issuance under the company's employee stock purchase and
stock option plans.

EAGLE PICHER: Annual Report Filed With SEC
Eagle-Picher Industries Inc. filed its Annual Report for
the fiscal year ended November 30, 1998. A full-text copy
of the filing is available via the Internet at:

Sales for the nine months ended November 30, 1998 and the
three months ended February 28, 1998 were $646.0 million
and $205.8 million, respectively, (a total of $851.8
million) compared to $906.1 million for the year ended
November 30, 1997, a decrease of 6.0% for the year.

The company states that due to the increased depreciation
and amortization resulting from the Acquisition, a
comparison of 1997 and 1998 operating income is not
meaningful. The Company's EBITDA was $87.4 million in the
nine months ended November 30, 1998 and $27.0 million in
the three months ended February 28, 1998 (a total of $114.4
million), compared to $104.1 million for the year ended
November 30,1997, an increase of $10.3 million or 9.9%.

FIRSTPLUS: Subsidiary Files Chapter 11
FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. said Saturday that its
subsidiary FirstPlus Financial Inc. filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection on Friday.  The Dallas-based
financial services company said in a statement that the
action was necessary because of the recent turmoil in the
asset-backed securitization markets and the lack of a
reliable, committed secondary take-out source for high LTV

"We have attempted to address this industry-wide phenomenon
by focusing the company on its retail loan origination
business, selling off non-core businesses, executing whole
loan sales, and reducing costs," said Daniel Phillips,
chairman and CEO of FirstPlus, in the statement. "However,
FirstPlus Financial Inc has been unable to meet certain of
its obligations and, accordingly, this action was taken."

The company said in a statement that FirstPlus Financial's
subsidiary, FirstPlus Special Funding Corp -- which was
created to facilitate a financing from Deutsche Bank-- had
also filed for reorganization under Chapter 11.  The filing
was made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern
District of Texas, in Dallas.  Neither FirstPlus Financial
Group nor any of its other subsidiaries has sought
bankruptcy protection, the statement said.

FIX CORP: Pressured Into Chapter 11
Crains Cleveland Business reports on February 22, 1999 that  
in an attempt to block collection of a $4.1 million
judgment against it, Fix- Corp International Inc. last week
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its

The top executive of Fix-Corp said he hoped the Bankruptcy
Court would dismiss a court judgment requiring the
Beachwood-based plastics recycler to pay  $4.1 million to
the investment banking firm Chatham Partners Inc. of
Ridgewood, N.J., for breaching the terms of a private
placement contract.

Fix-Corp listed the identical amount, $42.48 million, for
both its assets and its liabilities in a Feb. 17 filing
with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus.

The filing came just one day after Cuyahoga County Court of
Common Pleas Judge Nancy Fuerst lifted a stay of execution
of a court judgment handed down against Fix-Corp last
December by the Supreme Court of the State of New York,
County of New York. The judgment confirmed an arbitrator's
ruling that Fix-Corp pay Chatham $4.1 million for work
Chatham did on a failed attempt to place up to $5 million
in debt securities.

Judge Fuerst's ruling enabled Chatham to collect $4.1
million either in the form of stock warrants, cash or the
company's assets, said Jack Kurant, a lawyer with Conway
Marken Wyner Kurant & Kern Co. LPA of Pepper Pike, who is  
representing Fix-Corp. Chatham has indicated that it is not
interested in Fix-Corp's stock warrants, preferring to
collect on the company's cash and assets, Mr. Kurant said.
According to Mr. Fixler, Fix-Corp lacked the cash to
satisfy Chatham's judgment. Had the company not filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which  halts immediate
collection of all debts, then Chatham would have begun
seizing  Fix-Corp's assets, he said.

Mr. Fixler said he "did not seriously consider" issuing
more stock in the company to raise the cash because he
didn't want to dilute the value of Fix-Corp's existing
shares. Fix-Corp's shares closed last Thursday, Feb. 18, at
50 cents a share, down 71% from $1.75 a share on Jan. 28.
The shares had been trading as high as $3 last September.

According to the filing, Fix-Corp's largest unsecured
creditor is Encore Capital Management LLC, an investment
partnership based in Reston, Va. It is owed $18 million for
a series of convertible debentures -- debt securities that
can be converted into stock -- that it bought from Fix-Corp
over the past two years, Mr. Fixler said.

"We trust (Fix-Corp) will put forward the best case that it
can," said Neil Chau, a partner with Encore. "But whenever
you have a company get into a situation like this, you
can't help but worry." One person who thinks Fix-Corp has a
good case is Warren Feder, president and chief executive
officer of Cordon Bros. Capital LLC, a New York-based  
commercial lender that owns 7% of Fix-Corp's stock. Mr.
Feder described the $4.1 million judgment as "a Twilight
Zone experience" that should be overturned during
bankruptcy proceedings.

"When someone wins a $4.1 million judgment for not raising
$5 million, that's absurd. You would think the judge will
recognize that," Mr. Feder said.

FRETTER: Order Confirms Liquidating Plan
On February 16, 1999, an order confirming the Third Amended
Joint Liquidating Plan of Fretter, Inc. and Its Subsidiary
Debtors was entered by the United States Bankruptcy Court
for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division

The Liquidating Plan calls for the liquidation of all of
the assets of the Company, the distribution of the proceeds
from such liquidation to creditors and, ultimately, the
dissolution of the Company.

As of February 16, 1999, the Company had 10,577,388 shares
of common stock outstanding. Under the Liquidating Plan,
all shares of the Company's capital stock will be canceled
as of the Effective Date and the Liquidating Plan does not
provide for the reservation or future reservation of any
such shares or the issuance of any new shares. No
property will be distributed to or retained by the holders
of any shares of the Company's capital stock pursuant to
the Liquidating Plan.

GENEVA STEEL: Taps Arthur Andersen
The debtor, Geneva Steel Company seeks court authority to
hire Arthur Andersen LLP as its accountants.  Arthur
Andersen will provide the following services:

Reviewing quarterly financial statements

Advising with respect to certain SEC matters as they relate
to accounting and reporting issues;

Completing 1998 state and local income tax and franchise
tax returns; preparing annual federal and state income tax
returns for the debtor beginning with the return for the
calendar year ending December 31, 1998.

Arthur Andersen's current hourly rates range from $180 per
hour for Managers/Experienced Managers to $250 per hour for
partners and principals.

HIP of New Jersey: Dissolved By Judge
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on March
5, 1999, Superior Court Judge Jack L. Lintner called the
HIP Health Plan of New Jersey "hopelessly insolvent."

HIP, the state's fourth largest HMO said that it could have
become solvent if the court would have forgiven $48 million
o f$120 million of debt.  The Judge said he did not have
the authority to discharge the debt.

HIP, owned by the nonprofit HIP Foundation was paced under
state control in November after the state Department of
Banking and Insurance declared it a "financial hazard" to
its members.

HOLLYWOOD THEATRES: Agrees To Recapitalization
On March 3, 1999, Hollywood Theaters, Inc. announced that
it has agreed to a recapitalization sponsored by GTCR Fund
VI, L.P., an investment fund managed by GTCR Golder Rauner.  
As part of the Recapitalization, Hollywood's parent,
Hollywood Theater Holdings, Inc., will merge with a
subsidiary of Wallace Theater Corporation II.  As a result
of the Merger, Holdings will become a wholly owned
subsidiary of Wallace Theater and Hollywood will continue
as a subsidiary of Holdings.

The consummation of the Merger is subject to a number of
conditions, including successful completion of a tender
offer for at least 85% of the outstanding 10-5/8% Senior
Subordinated Notes due August 1, 2007 of the Company,
for which the Company expects to begin mailing offer and
consent solicitation documents by Friday, March 5th.

INTERNATIONAL HERITAGE: Creditors Object to Settlement
The News Observer Raleigh NC reports on March 6, 1999 that
a proposal that calls for bankrupt International Heritage
Inc. to use a $5 million bond to settle the Securities and
Exchange Commission's one-year-old civil complaint against
the company has aroused opposition from creditors and
Stanley Van Etten, IHI's controversial chief executive.

A bankruptcy court is scheduled to hear arguments March 31
over the settlement proposed by IHI's court-appointed
trustee, attorney Holmes Harden. A federal bankruptcy judge
would have to approve any settlement.

IHI posted the $5 million bond last year after the SEC
filed a civil complaint accusing the company of being a
massive illegal pyramid scheme. The bond was required by a
federal judge to pay any judgments arising from the
SEC action. IHI has steadfastly denied the SEC's
allegations, arguing that it was a legitimate network
marketing company like Amway.

An unusual feature of the proposed settlement is that the
SEC wouldn't receive the $5 million. Instead, the agency
would turn over the money to the trustee, who would use it
to cover administrative costs of the bankruptcy  
proceeding and then to pay claims against the company.
Priority would be given to paying back disgruntled IHI
sales representatives who paid up to $1,850 for  
the right to recruit other sales reps but say they never
received anything in return.

About 195,000 creditors are seeking more than $12 million
in claims, according to court documents.  The settlement
proposed by Harden would end the SEC's claims against the  
company, but not against the individual defendants - Van
Etten and IHI co-founders Claude W. Savage of Charlotte and
Larry G. Smith of Greenville, S.C.  

Opposition to the trustee's settlement proposal comes as no
great surprise, because the bond is a prime asset of the
bankrupt company. IHI, which blamed negative publicity
generated by the SEC complaint for killing its business,  
filed for bankruptcy the day before Thanksgiving.

In addition to Van Etten, IHI's bankruptcy attorney, a
former sales rep pursuing a class-action lawsuit against
IHI, and the companies that supplied the $5 million bond
have filed objections to the proposed settlement.

Van Etten's attorney said that he is interested in giving
up his secured claim in exchange for settling the SEC case
against him individually. "That is what we are discussing
with Holmes and the SEC right now," Wood said.

Harden also said it's unclear whether Van Etten has a right
to a claim on the $5 million bond.  The bankrupt IHI
doesn't have the money to defend against the SEC action.
And even if it contested the action and won, IHI would get
only $3.5 million to pay administrative costs and
creditors' claims, because the $1.5 million put up by the
bond companies would revert to them. So, winning the
case  would actually bring less money to IHI than the $5
million that would be disbursed under the proposed

J.PETERMAN: Saved By Paul Harris
At the last minute, Paul Harris Stores Inc. paid $10
million for J. Peterman Co. and according to The Wall
Street Journal on March 8, 1999, Paul Harris said that the
catalog retailer would remain in business.  Paul Harris  
beat out a competing offer that would have liquidated
Peterman as well as a package of piecemeal bids for the
company's assets.  The Bankruptcy Court gave preliminary
approval to the offer.

Paul Harris said that it would assume J. Peterman's leases
on at least 10 of 13 stores. J. Peterman Founder Is Fired                          
However, according to a newswire report, John Peterman,
founder of the catalog retailer has been fired.
Peterman said he was told that he is not considered part of
the new company's "go-forward scheme."  "I'm going to write
the book and I'm going to start another business," Peterman
was quoted as saying.  

MEDPARTNERS: Plan Ordered To Stop Transferring Funds
According to The Wall Street Journal on March 8, 1999, the
department of corporations in California said that
MedPartners Inc. California health plan had to stop
transferring funds to its parent company because it had not
demonstrated a "fiscally sound operation."

MedPartners said it was surprised by the decision and was
confident that it could demonstrate that it is a fiscally
sound operation.  The company plans to focus on its
pharmaceuticals-service business and exit the physician-
practice management industry.

MRS TECHNOLOGY: Converted To Chapter 7
On February 18, 1999, the case of MRS Technology Inc. was
converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.  The meeting of
creditors is set for March 30, 1999 at 1:00 PM at the
Office of the U.S. Trustee, Franklin Square Tower, 600 Main
Street, Suite 202, Worcester, MA 01608.

NU-KOTE: Bar Date Set For April 15
The court entered an order in the case of Nu-Kote Holding,
Inc. and its affiliated debtors, providing that all
creditors of the debtors whose claims are scheduled as
disputed, contingent, or unliquidated, whose claims are not
scheduled, or who disagree with the scheduled claim must
file a proof of claim on or before April 15, 1999.

PANGBURN CANDY: Russell Stover Submits Winning Bid
Eighty-five-year-old Pangburn Candy Co. will become part of
the Russell Stover Candies company; the company offered the
winning bid of $4.5 million at a bankruptcy court auction
on Friday, The Star-Telegram reported. Founded in 1914 in
forth Worth, Pangburn's filed chapter 11 on Feb. 1 after
two years of losses. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Massie Tillman
approved the sale, and Russell Stover plans to complete the
deal today. Attorney John Penn of Haynes and Boone, which
represents the only secured creditor, NationsBank Dallas,
said the bank should be able to reclaim the nearly $7
million it is owed. Unsecured creditors, whose claims are
more than $3 million, may not receive any distribution from
the sale.

PENN TRAFFIC: Bondholders To Swap Notes For Equity/New Debt
According to a report by Mergers Acquisitions Report on
March 8, 1999, Penn Traffic's prepackaged bankruptcy plan
with the Delaware bankruptcy court provides that
bondholders will swap their notes for equity and new debt.

According to the plan, holders of Penn's $625 million in
senior notes, divided among five pari passu tranches, will
receive $100 million of new senior notes and 19 million
shares of new stock. Holders of the Syracuse, N.Y.-based  
company's $400 million in 9.625% sub notes will get one
million shares of the new stock and six-year warrants to
purchase an additional one million shares with an exercise
price of $18.30.

In addition, each 100 shares of Penn's outstanding stock
prior to the bankruptcy will be exchanged for one share of
the new stock. Given that shares in $2.7 million market cap
Penn closed at 25 cents at presstime, the new equity is
effectively worth $25 per share.

Penn expects to close or sell more than 12 stores in the
near future, a company spokesman said. He insisted, though,
that the sales and closures, which have been going on for
months, had nothing to do with the bankruptcy filing.

PRIMESTAR INC: Extends Tender Offer
On March 2, 1999, PRIMESTAR, Inc. extended its tender
offer for, and related solicitation of consents from
certain holders of, its 12-1/4% Senior Subordinated
Discount Notes due 2007 and its 10-7/8% Senior
Subordinated Notes due 2007.  The new expiration date for
the tender offer and consent solicitation is 5:00 p.m., New
York City time, on March 15, 1999 unless further extended
or abandoned.

RAND ENERGY: Seeks More Time To Assume or Reject Leases
The debtor, Rand Energy Company has entered into several
agreements involving real property as to which the debtor
may be considered the lessee.  The debtor views its
interests in the agreements and its rights thereunder as
very valuable property rights.  The debtor needs additional
time to review the agreements and to consider which leases
to assume or reject.  Rather than engaging in a contested
proceeding over the nature of the agreements or the
propriety of assumption of any leases, the debtor believes
that the estate and the debtor's creditors would be better
served if any such disputes were addressed in connection
with confirmation of the plan.  The debtor has filed its
plan and needs time to address confirmation issues.  
Therefore the debtor seeks an additional ninety-day
extension of the time for assumption or rejection of the
leases through and including June 18, 1999.

RIO GRANDE: Exco Announces Plan Confirmation
EXCO Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXCO) announced  
that an order was entered today by the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Western District of Texas confirming the plan
of reorganization of Rio Grande, Inc. and related entities.  
EXCO previously bought for $6.4 million the promissory note  
which was secured by substantially all of the assets of Rio
Grande, Inc. EXCO's secured debt position will be converted
into 100% of the equity of Rio Grande, Inc. making EXCO its
sole shareholder.  The plan is expected to become final on
or about March 16, 1999.  Rio Grande, Inc. is an oil and
gas producer with principal operations in Texas, Oklahoma,
Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ted Eubank, EXCO's President, said, "We are pleased with
the quality of the reserves and upside potential associated
with these properties."

EXCO Resources, Inc. is an oil and gas acquisition,
exploitation, development and production company
headquartered in Dallas, Texas with principal operations in
Texas and Louisiana.  The Company's stock is traded on the
Nasdaq NMS under the symbol EXCO.

RIVER OAKS: Committee Seeks Conversion or Trustee
A hearing will be held on March 11, 1999 at 10:00 AM to
consider the motion of the Creditors' Committee to convert
the case from Chapter 11 to 7 or alternatively, for the
appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee.

The Committee alleges that it has not been receiving basic
operational information from the debtor, including
financial reports filed with the court.  The debtors
reported that for the 26-week period ended July 5, 1998,
the debtors were not able to cover their cost of goods sold
during this period and the debtors and creditors would have
been in a better position if the debtors had been closed.  
No plan has been filed by the debtors and the debtors have
admitted that no plan of reorganization is feasible.

STERLING CHEMICALS: Announces Plans To Construct Plant
On February 25, 1999 Sterling Chemicals, Inc. and
Monsanto, Inc. announced plans to construct a new disodium
iminodiacetate ("DSIDA") plant at Sterling's Texas City,
Texas petrochemical facility.  The new plant will use
hydrogen cyanide ("HCN"), a by-product from the
acrylonitrile manufacturing process, as its primary
feedstock.  The plans call for the construction of a world-
scale DSIDA plant, with production expected to begin in
the second calendar quarter of 2000.  The project will
require a multi-million dollar investment, with Monsanto
providing capital for the DSIDA plant and Sterling
investing in projects associated with its acrylonitrile
plant that will support the DSIDA project.  DSIDA is an
essential intermediate in the production of Monsanto's
Roundup (R) glyphosate based herbicide.  Roundup (R) is the
world's top selling herbicide, with sales growing
approximately 20 per cent per year for the last five years.

Marty Blaylock, vice president for manufacturing, explains,
"This new DSIDA facility is an important element of
Monsanto's long-range manufacturing plan for Roundup (R)
herbicide and is a known cost-effective route for
producing DSIDA.  Farmers around the world are increasingly
adopting conservation-tillage and no-till farming methods,
which are more environmentally friendly ways of growing
crops.  These techniques reduce soil erosion, benefit
wildlife and are more sustainable ways to farm.  Roundup
(R) herbicide is a key part of that trend and Monsanto is
committed to meeting the increasing need."
On March 3, 1999 Sterling Chemicals, Inc. announced a
capital project to upgrade its styrene monomer facility at
Texas City, Texas.  The phenylacetylene removal project
("PAR project") will reduce phenylacetylene ("PA") produced
at Sterling's styrene monomer facility at Texas City,
Texas, and will employ Raytheon/Fina technology and a
Criterion catalyst.

Sterling expects to invest approximately $7 to $8 million
in the PAR project, with the allocation of funds coming
from the current capital expenditure budget.  During the
current shutdown of the styrene unit, tie-ins for the PAR
project will be made with availability of the low PA
styrene product expected by December 31, 1999.

THORN APPLE: Files Chapter 11
Meat processor Thorn Apple Valley Inc., short of cash after
a costly recall of possibly contaminated hot dogs, said
Friday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Southfield, Mich.-based Thorn Apple in January recalled
about 30 million pounds of hot dogs because of possible
contamination with the deadly listeria bacteria, the
largest such recall on record. There have been no confirmed  
illnesses linked to the hot dogs.

UNITED COMPANIES: Trading Suspended
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on March
5, 1999, trading of United Companies Financial, a subprime
lender, was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange
Fridya.  In a statement, the exchange said united Companies
shares have fallen belowe the exchange's criterion for
aggregate market value of more than $8 million.

Visitors Services International Corp. announced the filing
of a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 7 of the
United States Bankruptcy Code for the Middle  District of
Florida, Tampa Division.

VSI was in the business of providing reservations and
information services to Convention and Visitors Bureaus and
convention/event organizers. VSI is a wholly owned
subsidiary of TeleServices International Group Inc. (OTC

Meetings, Conferences and Seminars
March 18-21, 1999
      Norton Bankruptcy Litigation Institute II
         Flamingo Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
            Contact: 1-771-535-7722

March 19, 1999
      Bankruptcy Battleground West
         Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, California
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800

March 25-26, 1999
   The American Law Institute -- American Bar Association
   Committee on Continuing Professional Education
      Commercial Securitization for Real Estate Lawyers
         Doubletree La Posada Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona
            Contact: 1-800-CLE-NEWS

March 25-27, 1999
   Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, Inc.
      25th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute
         Marriott Marquis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia
            Contact: 1-770-451-4448

April 5-6, 1999
      21st Annual Current Developments in
      Bankruptcy and Reorganization Conference
         PLI Conference Center, New York, New York
            Contact: 1-800-260-4PLI or

April 15-18, 1999
      Annual Spring Meeting
         J.W. Marriott, Washington, DC
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800

April 19-20, 1999
      21st Annual Current Developments in
      Bankruptcy and Reorganization Conference
         Grand Hyatt, San Francisco, California
            Contact: 1-800-260-4PLI or

April 22-23, 1999
      Conference on Revised Article 9 of
      the Uniform Commercial Code
         Sheraton New York Hotel, New York, New York
            Contact: 1-800-CLE-NEWS

April 22-25, 1999
      69th Annual Chicago Conference
         Westin Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
            Contact: 1-312-781-2000 or   

April 26-27, 1999
      Bankruptcy Sales, Mergers & Acquisitions
         The Mark Hopkins, San Francisco, California
            Contact: 1-903-592-5169 or   

April 28-30, 1999
      INSOL Bermuda '99 Conference of the Americas
         Castle Harbour Marriott Resort

April 30-May 4, 1999
      Annual Meeting and conference, including a one-day
      program on cross-border insolvencies
         Shangi-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
            Contact: 011-66-2-233-0055

May 28-31, 1999
      51st Annual New England District Meeting
         Equinox Resort, Manchester Village, Vermont
            Contact: 1-413-734-6411   

June 3-6, 1999
      Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
         Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800

July 1-4, 1999
      Western Mountains Bankruptcy Law Institute
         Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
            Contact: 1-770-535-7722
July 10-15, 1999
      105th Annual Convention
         Chateau Mont Tremblant, Mont Tremblant, Quebec
            Contact: 1-312-781-2000 or

July 15-18, 1999
      Northeast Bankruptcy Conference
         Mount Washington Hotel & Resort
         Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800

August 4-7, 1999
      Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
         The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800

August 29-September 1, 1999
      1999 Convention
         Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina
            Contact: 1-803-252-5646 or

September 16-18, 1999
      Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
         The Hotel Loretto, Santa Fe, New Mexico
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800

December 2-4, 1999
      Winter Leadership Conference
         La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, California
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800


The Meetings, Conferences and Seminars column appears
in the TCR each Tuesday.  Submissions via e-mail to are encouraged.  

Bond pricing, appearing in each Friday edition of the TCR,
is provided by DLS Capital Partners, Dallas, Texas.

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 is a daily newsletter, co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
Princeton, NJ, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC.  
Debra Brennan and Lexy Mueller, Editors. Copyright 1999.  
All rights reserved.  ISSN 1520-9474.  

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

Information contained herein is obtained from sources
believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.   
The TCR subscription rate is $575 for six months 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 301/951-6400.  
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