Amerex, Prebon expand broker services

Energy brokerage houses have not rolled over and died, despite the increasing popularity of web-based energy trading sites. In fact, two major brokerage firms – Prebon Energy and Amerex USA – say their business is better than ever.

In March, Jersey City, New Jersey-based Prebon said it had launched a new coal trading desk, and Houston-based Amerex said it had purchased the crude oil and products businesses of RedMeteor, a fellow Texan company with both voice-brokering services and an electronic trading exchange for crude oil and other energy products.

The latter acquisition moved Amerex into the North American oil and products brokerage business. With the purchase, Amerex expands its North American energy brokerage presence beyond its core markets of natural gas, electricity, emissions, coal and weather.

“RedMeteor was a natural acquisition for Amerex,” says co-chief executive Steven Town. “We will continue to search for strategic acquisitions that help us meet the liquidity and transactional needs of the energy market and related markets,” he adds.

Vincent Di Cosimo, president and chief executive officer of RedMeteor, says: “The strengths of the traditional RedMeteor brokerage dovetail very nicely with those of Amerex. This fit is in the best strategic interests of both organisations.”

Di Cosimo says RedMeteor will also gain from the deal by expanding into the arenas of energy services, logistics, risk management, wholesale trading and marketing. He says the company will add staff and take advantage of the gap left by the departure of Enron.

Mike Nemer, senior vice-president of Amerex, adds: “This acquisition not only strengthens Amerex’s traditional voice brokerage services, it also provides us with access to the RedMeteor exchange. Our goal is to offer our clients numerous options for fulfilling their traditional needs, and the addition of the RedMeteor brokerage facilitates that.”

Meanwhile, Prebon Energy, a major broker in the global oil, natural gas and power markets, established a new coal desk on March 19.

Dave Rutter, Prebon Energy’s chief executive, says: “We are now positioned to capitalise on the recent US government policy shift towards developing coal as a primary energy source. Having undergone rapid proliferation, the coal market is moving from Main Street to Wall Street.”
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