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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Enron bids to rise from the ashes
Enron Tower
Enron's famous Houston tower has been sold
Enron, the disgraced and bankrupt US energy trader, is presenting a rescue plan to a New York court, and could be reborn under a new name within weeks.

The court will hear how the company plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a modest-sized concern, possibly under the name Prisma Energy.

As Enron, the firm once employed 39,000 people; as Prisma, it has 4,900 staff.

The company's management have sold off dozens of businesses, and have unwound Enron's complex trading partnerships.

Creditors, meanwhile, who lost some $63bn (34bn) in the company's dramatic bankruptcy in December 2001, will receive up to 22 cents in the dollar in the form of cash and Prisma shares.

If the plan is approved, the court will set a date for Enron's exit from bankruptcy, which could be as early as this month.

Clearing up

The emergence of Prisma, if approved, represents the culmination of years of commercial detective work.

The company says it has had to unwind some 2,400 business entities, 55 of which were partnerships used to hide company debts and create the impression of profitable trading.

The company has spent $665m on legal and professional bills during its bankruptcy.

It has spun off some of its biggest assets - most recently its North American pipeline unit, sold last month for $2.2bn.

Less tangible businesses, such as its once-praised online trading unit, have ceased to exist.

This leaves Prisma in control of some 25 gas and power businesses around the world.

The emergence from Chapter 11 is distinct from a raft of other legal action, directed against former officers of the company. Several former executives are accused of having masterminded systematic fraud at Enron, and face criminal investigations and civil lawsuits.


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