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Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 17:47 GMT
UK Enron bosses get 6m windfall
Directors and senior staff of the UK retail arm of failed US energy giant Enron have picked up windfalls totalling 6m for helping to sell the company.

Enron Direct was sold to Centrica for 96m just four days after the firm had been put into administration.

The windfalls were divided between fourteen managers, giving them 400,000 each for four days' work.

Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) told creditors the payments helped achieve a much higher price for Enron Direct than would otherwise have been possible.

Rogue accounting

Enron - once one of the world's most prestigious companies - filed for bankruptcy after admitting it had inflated its profits by using rogue accounting practices.

One Enron Direct creditor, Chris Fisher, of the consultancy Qualtrack, said he felt the directors should have felt some sense of responsibility for sorting out the mess.

Speaking after a meeting of creditors, Mr Fisher said: "One or two people expressed some surprise.

"They were paid 6.2m for four days' work."

PwC said such incentive schemes were often used when a company goes into administration.

Money back

Enron Direct's creditors were told on Tuesday that they would get back between 55p and 75p for every pound they were owed.

PwC said it expected to distribute 94m raised from the sale to creditors.

The company's 270 creditors are owed between 130m and 170m.

Centrica, formerly the UK supply business of British Gas, is the UK's largest domestic gas supplier and moved into the electricity market several years ago.

The December purchase of Enron Direct almost doubled Centrica's UK customer base.

See also:

05 Dec 01 | Business
Centrica agrees Enron deal
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