Kirby McInerney & Squire LLP Commences Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of El Paso Corp. Investors -- EP

New York, New York, UNITED STATES


NEW YORK, July 25, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Please take notice that the law firm of Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP has commenced a class action lawsuit on behalf of all purchasers of El Paso Corp. (NYSE:EP) common stock during the period from July 25, 2001 through May 29, 2002 (the "Class Period"). The action, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, seeks to recover losses suffered by such investors.

A copy of the complaint is available from the Court or from Kirby McInerney & Squire. Please visit our website, which offers summary and detailed information concerning the case at www.kmslaw.com/new_cases/el_paso/el_paso.htm , or contact us by phone at (888) 529-4787 or by email at obraun@kmslaw.com .

The complaint charges El Paso, as well as its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and President, with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. The alleged violations, according to the complaint, stem from materially false and misleading statements issued by the defendants during the Class Period that, as detailed below: (i) materially inflated the revenue, and deflated the debt, reported by El Paso; thus (ii) causing El Paso stock to trade at prices artificially-inflated by such misleading financial results. The action seeks to recover losses suffered by investors who purchased El Paso stock at such artificially-inflated prices during the class period.

The complaint alleges that, during the class period, El Paso manipulated both energy prices and accounting regulations in order to report materially inflated revenues from its energy-trading operations and in order to hide billions of dollars of debt in off-balance-sheet partnerships. Since May 29, 2002, El Paso shares lost over 66% of their remaining value, falling from approximately $35 per share to below $11 per share, after: (i) the extent of El-Paso's off balance sheet debt began to be revealed beginning in late May 2002; (ii) news emerged in June 2002 that the SEC and the Justice Department had initiated inquiries into El Paso's energy-trading operations and into the possible reporting of inflated revenues through sham trading transactions; and (iii) El Paso, in light of these events, announced a restructuring in which it cut its energy-trading workforce in half and moved $2 billion in off-balance-sheet debt back onto its balance sheet.

Plaintiffs are represented by Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP, which specializes in complex litigation, including securities class actions. The firm has repeatedly demonstrated its expertise in this field, and has been recognized by various courts which have appointed the firm to major positions in consolidated and multi-district litigation. The firm's efforts on behalf of shareholders in securities litigation have resulted in recoveries totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, and its achievements and quality of service have been chronicled in numerous published decisions. More information about the firm, class actions in general or about the role of the lead plaintiff in a securities class action can be obtained through Kirby McInerney & Squire's website at www.kmslaw.com.

If you are a member of the class described above, you may, no later than September 16, 2002, move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose, pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"), 15 U.S.C. section 78u-4(a). A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff." Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to seek appointment as a lead plaintiff. For more information about the case, its claims, and your rights, please contact:


 Ira M. Press, Esq.
 Ori Braun
 KIRBY McINERNEY & SQUIRE, LLP
 830 Third Avenue, 10th Floor
 New York, New York  10022
 Telephone:  (212) 317-2300
 or Toll Free (888) 529-4787
 E-Mail: obraun@kmslaw.com 

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at www.primezone.com/ca.



        

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