BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 28 August, 2002, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Enron puts itself up for sale
pipelines
Key pipeline assets are up for grabs
Disgraced energy giant Enron has unexpectedly put its top assets up for sale.

The sale of the assets - which include key pipelines - would leave almost nothing behind and would be tantamount to liquidation, sources familiar with the firm said.

Stephen Cooper, Enron's new chief executive
Stephen Cooper once wanted to relaunch Enron
Enron has been restructuring itself whilst in administration and was previously expected to emerge as a new firm focused on the core power and pipeline businesses.

The U-turn on restructuring reflects growing pressure from creditors to be paid their due.

Thousands of employees lost their savings and pensions when the firm went bust last December, while banks have also been left out of pocket.

More job losses?

The firm's new chief executive, Stephen Cooper, has stressed that his key goal is to squeeze as much money as possible out of the firm for its creditors.

But he had previously argued that the assets would be worth more if the firm was recreated as a going concern rather than sold off piecemeal.

In May, Mr Cooper presented plans to a bankruptcy court, claiming that a new Enron - employing 12,000 staff - could achieve pre-tax profits of $1.3bn in 2003.

Although creditors may be cheered by a sell-off, it is bad news for remaining employees.

Final bids for the assets are expected in November, and the firm has said it will not sell if the price is too low.

Back to basics

Enron built its original gas and power pipeline business into an energy trading giant that became the US' seventh largest firm.

But its rapid expansion - and escalating profits - turned out to be based on false accounting methods that artificially inflated its size and potential.

Its collapse - the largest corporate bankruptcy in the US at the time - was the first and arguably the most shocking of the recent wave of corporate scandals.

Federal prosecutors are working to try and charge senior executives at the firm with securities fraud and insider trading.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Luc Despins, lead lawyer - creditors' committee
"There are more than 100,000 creditors in the case"
The BBC's Vicki Broadbent
"Although creditors may be cheered by a sell-off, it is bad news for remaining employees"

Latest news

Background

Broad impact

CLICKABLE FACT FILE
See also:

27 Aug 02 | Business
26 Aug 02 | Business
22 Aug 02 | Business
21 Aug 02 | Business
21 Aug 02 | Business
21 Aug 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes