Warrant out for Del Monte man

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK - Mexican authorities yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of Carlos Cabal Peniche, the banker and plantation owner who controls the remains of Polly Peck International, accusing him of making acquisitions with funds lent to him by his own bank, writes Larry Black.

Regulators also seized the bank, Cremi-Union SA, Mexico's fourth-largest financial institution.

Mr Cabal bought Del Monte Fresh Produce from Polly Peck's administrators two years ago for dollars 536m, following its seizure from Asil Nadir. Mr Cabal then sought to reunite the pineapple and banana grower with its sister company, Del Monte Foods, a canning company based in San Francisco.

That deal was delayed by reports last April that Mr Cabal was under investigation in New York for dealings with Eastbrook, a finance company controlled by Khalid bin Mahfouz, a director of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

But the inquiry was later abandoned, and in June Mr Cabal was able to complete the deal, paying dollars 277m for Del Monte Foods and assuming some dollars 700m worth of company debt.

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