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UBS Warburg to share Enron profits

Enron's Houston office may be taken over by UBS Warburg Keystone Archive

The details of a deal that could see UBS Warburg take over the energy trading arm of the collapsed US oil company Enron were finally made public on Tuesday.

According to a US bankruptcy court filing, UBS Warburg will pay Enron and its creditors a third of the division’s profits over a period of ten years.

The deal gives UBS Warburg the right to buy one-third of Enron’s stake after three years and the rest of the stake in the following two years.

UBS Warburg will assume no liabilities from the trading business.

It is expected to lease Enron’s Houston office and employ about 800 of the division’s workers.

The terms of the deal were scheduled to be made public on Monday by the bankruptcy court in Manhattan, but Enron spokeswoman, Karen Denne, said they had been delayed because it was taking officials longer than anticipated to complete paperwork related to the deal.

It still requires the approval of the federal bankruptcy court, where Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection in the biggest corporate failure in American history. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Enron’s creditors were left high and dry after the world’s biggest energy trader collapsed late last year, after revelations that it hid billions of dollars worth of debt using a complex web of business relationships.

Enron’s energy trading business generated about 90 percent of the company’s $101 billion in revenue in 2000.

UBS Warburg won the bidding for the trading operation last week, beating out Citigroup, a large Enron creditor.

A creditors’ committee approved the deal, but other Enron creditors have questioned it, saying they want more information about how the agreement was reached and how the proceeds will be allocated.

Before its collapse late last year, Enron was the US’s seventh largest company by revenue. Enron differed from competitors in its penchant for complex bets on everything under the sun — advertising space, broadband, paper, the weather and more than 1,000 other products.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR