Enron Corp. is going back to its roots as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy, proposing the creation of a new pipeline company from existing assets.
Enron began as a pipeline company in 1985 but transformed itself into a massive energy-trading firm that collapsed in 2001 in an accounting scandal.
Today, its board of directors decided not to sell its interests in three pipeline companies, choosing instead to form a new company around them. It rejected multiple bids for Transwestern Pipeline Co., Citrus Corp. and Northern Plains Natural Gas Co.
Under the board's plan, shares of the new pipeline company would be distributed to creditors as part of Enron's reorganization. Enron is also considering the sale of a minority interest in the proposed pipeline company.
The plan would require the approval of a bankruptcy judge, regulators and creditors.
"We have continued to work" with Enron's unsecured creditors "throughout this process and, under the current circumstances, they are supportive of this decision," said Stephen F. Cooper, Enron's interim chief executive.
Cooper said he continues to believe that a viable new company built around the pipeline interests would be most beneficial to Enron's many creditors.
Cooper said he is also preparing a plan to lump certain international interests into another new company, subject to approval by the Enron board and creditors.
Enron continues to move forward with its plan to auction other major assets, including its electric utility, Portland General Electric Co.