Bankrupt Enron's Houston headquarters sold for $55.5 million

Wednesday, December 3rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ An investors' group has agreed to buy Enron Corp.'s 50-story downtown headquarters for $55.5 million, two years after the energy giant went bankrupt.

Dr. Antonio Pacifico, a cardiologist who heads the investors' group, bid on the oval-shaped, glass tower at a private auction Tuesday. A New York bankruptcy judge must approve the sale, said Richard Rudd of the real estate firm Granite Partners.

Enron went bankrupt after devastating revelations of hidden debt, inflated profits and accounting tricks that made the company appear more financially successful than it was. Thousands of employees lost their jobs, and stock that once traded at $90 per share became worthless.

The energy company rented the 1.27 million-square-foot building from a partnership of banks, led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., one of Enron's largest creditors. Proceeds of the sale will be divided among those lenders.

The skyscraper is scheduled to be vacated early next year when Enron, its sole occupant, relocates to 4 Houston Center.

Pacifico in 1996 treated the heart troubles of Hakeem Olajuwon, who was a star center for the Houston Rockets. The two have had several real estate partnerships, but the basketball star was not involved in the latest deal, Rudd said.