GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) – The hedge fund Amaranth Advisors, which is preparing to shut down after losing more than $6 billion because of bad energy trades, expects to cut about 60 percent of its work force within a week.

As many as 250 of Amaranth’s 420 workers will be dismissed, said Charlie Winkler, the company’s chief operating officer. The company is contacting more than 50 other financial firms in hopes of finding new jobs for the employees.

However, the Connecticut Department of Labor said Friday that it had no record of Amaranth filing the 60 days’ notice required before any company lays off more than 100 people.

The firm said it is seeking an orderly process to sell about $3 billion of remaining assets and return proceeds to investors.

Amaranth’s energy and commodities portfolio was responsible for a big chunk of the fund’s previous success, booking a $1.26 billion profit in 2005 and $2.17 billion for this year to the end of August. It began incurring large losses in natural gas in the week starting Sept. 11, and on Sept. 14 it lost roughly $560 million on its natural gas position as prices for the commodity plummeted to a two-year low.

Amaranth has 353 employees in Greenwich, 26 in London, 18 in Toronto, 11 in Singapore, nine in Calgary and three in Houston, wrote Stanley Friedman, Amaranth’s managing director for human resources, in an Oct. 4 e-mail urging rivals to consider hiring its employees.

AP-ES-10-07-06 1457EDT

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