PCs containing sensitive data will be excluded from the Enron 'fire sale' which begins in London next Wednesday. The sale will be the largest ever auction held in the UK.
Compaq, Dell and Sun Microsystems servers, along with Cisco firewalls and switches, will go under the hammer at Enron Europe's former London headquarters in a bid to recoup some cash for creditors.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) spokesman has told a group of creditors that the company is preserving hardware that might contain sensitive information, which will be excluded from the sale.
PwC, the court appointed administrator for Enron Europe, said it was trying to unravel billions of dollars of debt between different Enron companies.
Enron Europe filed for creditor protection under UK law in November 2001, after its US parent shut off day-to-day funding because of its own financial crisis and filed for bankruptcy days later.
UK auctioneer Bache Treharne and Silicon Valley-based internet auctioneer DoveBid will conduct the sale of Enron Europe's assets for the administrators.
The auction will take place between 27 February and 1 March at Enron Europe's former offices in Grosvenor Place and will be simultaneously webcast to bidders worldwide over the internet.
In addition to the computer equipment - which includes about 4,000 NEC and SGI flat screen monitors, 3,000 Compaq and Dell PCs and more than 500 Compaq, Dell and Sun servers - the auction will offer telecoms equipment, executive suites and furniture, refrigerators, ice-making machines, health club equipment and large quantities of paintings, photographic prints and other works of art.
More than 9,000 lots will be offered, the largest number in UK history, according to the auctioneers. The equipment had an original cost of more than £15m.
Bache Treharne's Peter Bache explained that the size and scope of the sale is unprecedented. "This is one of the highest profile, and potentially one of the highest value, auctions that a UK firm has held," he said.
DoveBid's webcast technology will allow buyers from all over the world to compete in real time and on an equal footing with buyers at Enron Europe's former headquarters.
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