Amaranth's Hunter Tries Again

The trader whose gas bet blew up a fund hangs out his own shingle.
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Brian Hunter, the commodities trader whose huge bet on natural gas took down Amaranth Advisors last fall, is said to be planning an energy-focused hedge fund.

The planned venture is said to have been seeded with around $750 million to $800 million, from primarily Middle East investors.

A message left with Hunter in Calgary, Alberta, wasn't immediately returned.

The 33-year-old trader created his own mini-subprime-like meltdown back in September, when his

ill-timed gas trades registered some $6 billion in losses for Greenwich, Conn.-based Amaranth. The fund at the time managed $9 billion in assets.

Amaranth later sold its energy portfolio to

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and Citadel, a big Chicago hedge fund.

Two people familiar with the trader's thinking say Hunter has been trawling for funds over the past several months and expects to kick off the commodities vehicle in the spring. Little else is known about the operation at this time, including its name or precise structure.

Amaranth losses turned the Calgary native into a goat on Wall Street and inspired comparisons to Long Term Capital Management's infamous collapse in 1998. But the trader also had his share of success.

Hunter reportedly made more than $1 billion for Amaranth after Hurricane Katrina whipsawed gas prices in 2005. His bonus resulting from that deal: $75 million to $100 million.