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Energy Giant Enron Is Bought Out By Smaller Rival Dynegy in a $9 Billion Deal, Merging Theworld's Largest Energy Trader and Bush Ally Into An Even Larger Corporation

November 16, 2001
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Enron Corp., a mainstay of Houston’s corporate landscape that helped turn the city into a global energy tradingpowerhouse, will disappear in a turn of events that would have been unthinkable a month ago.

The smaller rival company Dynegy announced Friday that it will buy the beaten-down Enron in a stock deal worth almost$ 8.9 billion.

The purchase will end Enron’s reign as the world’s largest energy trader. A much bigger Dynegy–with annualrevenues exceeding $200 billion and $90 billion in assets–will emerge with Chuck Watson, its current chairman andchief executive, keeping those roles in the combined company.

With Enron’s close ties to the Bush administration, many may be wondering how this could have happened. EnronChairman Ken Lay is a close friend of President Bush. When Vice President Cheney unveiled his energy plan,questions over Lay’s influence over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sparked an investigation by the GeneralAccounting Office. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Lay and other Enron officials spent $2.1 millionlobbying the White House last year alone. 70 Senators and nearly 200 members of the House have received contributionsfrom Enron.

We’re joined right now by Laura Goldberg, a business reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

Guests:

  • Laura Goldberg, business reporter for the Houston Chronicle.
  • Harvey Rosenfield, consumer advocate.

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