Andersen denies role in Enron collapse


Andersen Worldwide's chairman Aldo Cardoso says the accountancy firm cannot be held responsible for Enron's bankruptcy.

Mr Cardoso, who took up the post last week, says the US energy trading giant failed because of its management.

Andersen was Enron's auditing firm, and company officials have admitted they destroyed documents showing that the energy firm falsified its accounts.

Mr Cardoso told Europe 1 radio: "We mustn't forget that this was basically a company bankruptcy, and the responsibility must be borne first and foremost by its executives."

He stated: "There was a bankruptcy, and documents were destroyed. The two must not be mixed up."

Mr Cardoso, who is also chairman of Andersen France, said: "Andersen did not cause the bankruptcy, and the destroyed documents certainly didn't either. Andersen is trapped in the middle."

He said the Andersen brand would disappear following the Enron scandal, leaving just four instead of five top league global accounting firms.

Mr Cardoso added: "Andersen will continue in some other way. The 80,000 staff, the 5,000 partners will continue to look after their customers, to develop their skills and will survive differently, by changing."