PwC cuts 1,100 jobs at Enron

Tony Lomas, appointed joint administrator with three PwC colleagues, had warned yesterday (Thursday) that job losses were ‘expected’.

In statement Lomas said: ‘The over-riding priority is to preserve the valuable parts of the business and to reduce the cash needs of the business whilst seeking to secure the future of certain Enron businesses and its employees.’

A skeleton staff of 250 will be retained to help PwC with the rest of the administration.

Andersen, Enron’s auditors in the US, revealed a week ago that it was helping the US Securities and Exchange Commission with an investigation into the company’s finances.

Enron was asked by the SEC to provide additional information regarding a number of off-balance sheet transactions in which the company was involved.

US Andersen partner, David Tabolt, said at the time: ‘There have been several mistakes made by the company during unaudited periods which have been acknowledged by Enron. We have helped the SEC with the enquiries but they are not aimed at us.’

Some UK subsidiaries of Enron, such as Wessex Water and its three Teeside power stations, are understood to stand a better chance of survival because they are self-financing. Buyers are already reported to have shown an interest.

The most recent statement said administrators continued in discussions concerning the sale of the company’s metals business.

The US companies collapse is thought to be the biggest administration in American corporate history, but the speed of the London job losses appears to have taken many workers by surprise.

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