Enron European Creditors Face Loss
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LONDON (AP) _ Creditors of Enron Corp.’s subsidiaries in Europe are unlikely to collect more than 25 cents on each of the billions of dollars owed them, administrators for Enron Europe Ltd. said Friday.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has generated $662 million so far from the sale of a handful of businesses and the liquidation of some of Enron Europe’s estimated 250,000 commodities trading contracts.
However, administrators from the accountancy firm said it could take them as long as a decade to sell all of Enron Europe’s assets and distribute the proceeds to the bankrupt group’s creditors.
PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed in November to oversee the sell-off of Enron Europe’s 400 or so companies, but it hasn’t been able yet to determine the total amount of money they owe to trading partners, suppliers and banks.
``It’s a huge exercise to try to get to the bottom of that calculation,″ joint administrator Anthony Lomas told a news conference.
Enron Europe’s liabilities could total as much as $4.2 billion, Lomas said, though he added it was too early to give a reliable figure.
Lomas and his colleagues met with creditors earlier Friday to apprise them of their progress so far in selling off the assets of Enron Europe’s three main businesses: Enron Capital & Trade Resources Ltd., Enron Power Operations Ltd. and Enron Gas & Petrochemical Trading Ltd.
PricewaterhouseCoopers arranged the sale of Enron Metals Ltd., a metals trading business, for about $250 million. Another subsidiary, Enron Direct Ltd., was sold in December for $134 million.
The sale of additional Enron units, together with profits or losses from trading contracts still to mature, will likely boost the total to more than $750 million, Lomas said.
Other assets, including North Sea oil businesses, could take that total substantially higher, the administrators said.
Enron Europe had 2,000 employees when PricewaterhouseCoopers took over, and about 1,600 who were considered nonessential have lost their jobs. Of those workers remaining, 200 are at a gas processing plant and a power plant, and another 200 are still with the company in London, helping to liquidate the company’s assets.