Thursday, February 12, 2009

Enron Scandal

Enron Corporation has been one of the biggies in the field of Power and Electricity Generation.

The Company traces its roots to the Northern Natural Gas Company formed in 1932. But the company got a stand-alone reputation in 1979, by buying a lower rated Houston Natural Gas Group, and establishing Enron Corporation.

The Company had a good hold on American Power Business and was presented the best Power firm for 6 consecutive years. With a capital of above 100bn$, the company was strongly steering to become the ultimate in Power Business.

Company having more than 50% hold on American Market, was seen to be the next big thing in Global Economy.

But the company was caught in a fierce scandal when many revelations about financing and accounting reports came up. The Company's Auditor Firm, Arthur Anderson, was responsible for irregular accounting procedures conducted throughout the decade on 1990.

Company was on the verge of Bankruptcy within 6 months of the disclosure of the scandal.A White knight rescue attempt by a similar, smaller energy company, Dynegy, was not viable. Enron filed for bankruptcy on December 2, 2001.

The basis of scandal was the revelation that maximum part of profits and revenue of the company were due to the Special Purpose Entity.

Enron was using SPE's appropriately by placing non energy related business into separate legal entities. What they did wrong was that they apparently tried to manufacture earnings by manipulating the capital structure of the SPEs; hide their losses; did not have independent outside partners that prevented full disclosure and did not disclose the risks in their financial statements.

So the financial debts and the losses that it reported were not reported in the financial statements. This scandal caused dissolution of one of the largest firm Arthur Anderson.

As the news of scandal was on air many of speculations were made for the dissolution of the company, this lead to decrease in the faith of investors in the company. This lead to the downfall of the shares of the company from somewhere about 100$ to about 50 cents. This was the basic reason that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Financial Instruments of the Company dragged down to such an extent that the market capitalization decreased to about 1% of what it had before the scandal.

Enron planned to retain their three cross pipeline business and also some external invested assets. Post Bankruptcy the company had to sell-off all its pipelines business to make a new entity CrossCountry Energy, making the Company a small shell with limited scope of development.

So as to pay the debts to the investors and to pay all the outstanding in the market the company resolved into a Enron Creditors Group Corporation. Its goal is to pay off the old Enron's remaining creditors and wind up Enron's affairs.........................

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