laid out plans for an asset fire-sale that it hopes will raise $6 billion, and confirmed to creditors it's in discussions to give up control of its energy-trading operation.
News of the energy trader's plans came as its longtime auditor testified before Congress that the company's flameout will necessitate changes in the way accountants operate.
"What happened at Enron is a tragedy on many levels," said Joseph Berardino, the chief executive of Arthur Andersen, in prepared testimony. "Andersen will have to change ... the accounting profession will have to reform itself. Our system of regulation and discipline will have to be improved."
Berardino claimed that Andersen warned Enron's audit committee that some of the company's financing transactions were possibly illegal, but said it was denied access to other crucial information. "It is not clear why the relevant information was not provided to us. We are still looking into that," Berardino said.
Top Enron officials didn't attend the House subcommittee meeting.
Enron, which sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid a liquidity crunch precipitated by the bookkeeping scandal, plans to sell its
unit, its wind energy unit and other segments in a bid to raise up to $6 billion.
, the company's chief financial officer also confirmed Enron is in advanced talks to cede a controlling stake of its flagship energy trading unit to a financial institution. Potential suitors reportedly include
J.P. Morgan Chase
and UBS Warburg.
Enron's shares fell 6 cents to close at 66 cents.