The Enron saga continues

The Enron saga continues

Sale of company's last asset, further trial revelations and an Oscar nomination keep Enron in the news

The last remaining asset of former US energy giant Enron may be sold this
week.

Houston-based Prisma Energy appears set to be sold for $2.5bn by Enron
receivers Blackstone.

According to The Business, Prisma – which controls 15 energy assets
in 11 countries, eight of them in Latin America, with others in the Philippines,
Poland and Turkey – has seen five bidders make firm offers for the business.

Blackstone will submit the offers to Prisma’s board, which will decide
whether the bids are strong enough to justify a sale, or if Enron’s creditors
would be better served by a public flotation.

Enron continues to be in the news, as the trial of former chiefs Kenneth Lay
and Jeffrey Skilling settles in, four years after the company’s collapse. It is
expected that the trial will be more of a marathon than a sprint, with every
detail of the lead-up to the company’s collapse pored over in the coming months.

The lack of a ‘smoking gun’ so far in the trial is evidenced by the testimony
of former investor relations chief Mark Koenig – who pleaded guilty in 2004 to
aiding securities fraud by lying to investors.

In two days of questioning by the government this week, Koenig said Skilling
gave misleading information to analysts about Enron’s businesses and confirmed
that Lay knew that Enron inflated its late 1999 quarterly earnings overnight to
match Wall Street expectations.

However, he stopped short of saying his former bosses ordered the books to be
cooked or knowingly hid the losses from investors.

Meanwhile, an examination of events leading up to the company’s collapse,
Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room, has been nominated for the best
documentary feature category in the 78th Academy Awards, held on 5 March.

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