Energy powerhouse Enron decided to test its mettle once againMonday, offering British metals trader MG Plc $4.46 per share cashoffer in its bid to enter a new marketplace. The bid values MG at$445 million (300 million pounds sterling).

No one was happier about the takeover bid than MG executivechairman Tom McKeever. He said the sale will allow his London-basedcompany to grow the business “more aggressively,” calling Enron a”global trading powerhouse.” He said that the move will allow MG tobecome the “largest, most highly respected, most successful metalstrading business in the world.”

The bid offer had been expected, according to analysts. MG is aleading member of the London Metal Exchange (LME), and yesterday,its shares rose 8.11%. Enron’s Chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay said hehad been watching the global metals market “for several years,” andbelieved it was time to enter the $120 billion market.

“Our business model, which we have proven in the natural gas andelectricity markets, will give us a tremendous advantage in anindustry that is undergoing fundamental change,” Lay said.

This latest acquisition of Enron’s may be the last for a while -at least in the metals market. Enron Europe CEO and Chairman JohnSherriff said he expected the MG acquisition to grow “organically.”

The MG metals web platform is expected to enhance Enron’se-commerce portfolio. The Enron Online trades about 840 products in13 countries and in 11 currencies, according to Enron. Since lastNovember when it was launched, the site has had 114,000 on-linetransactions valuing $45 billion, Sherriff said.

“One of this things that attracted [to Enron] us was theenergy-intensive nature of the metals business. This will allow themerged entity to provide more services,” MG’s McKeever said. Enronsaid it had irrevocable acceptances already from nearly 45% of MG’sstockholders. Those acceptances would be binding if a competingoffer steps in.

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