Reliant Buys Retail Operations of COM/Energy
Reliant Energy, formerly Houston Industries, has purchased the
retail gas marketing assets of Commonwealth Energy System
subsidiary COM/Energy Marketing for an undisclosed sum. The assets
primarily are made up of contracts with more than 2,000 energy
customers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, two
offices in Massachusetts and a 10-person marketing team.
"We've been active in this region for about two years now and
this was an opportunity to expand with a company that had a
complementary fit," said Steve Husband, vice president for Reliant
Energy Retail Marketing. "In terms of market share, this increases
[our commercial portfolio] about five times. If we're talking about
total market share, it increases it by about 10%."
Reliant Energy Retail Marketing President Richard Guha said the
deal "offers us an experienced marketing and operations team as
well as the opportunity to further strengthen our position in
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut."
For Commonwealth Energy, the sale marks a turning point in
corporate strategy. "The sale of the assets of our energy marketing
company allows us to further concentrate our efforts on our core
business: the delivery and distribution of electricity, natural
gas, chilled water and steam," said CEO Russell D. Wright. "We,
like other utilities in New England, have found that marketing
energy in the emerging unregulated arena requires the market power
of a national or international company like Reliant Energy to make
it a real success." Commonwealth Energy is a $1 billion holding
company based in Cambridge, MA. Its subsidiary companies,
Commonwealth Electric, Cambridge Electric, Commonwealth Gas,
COM/Energy Steam, and Advanced Energy Systems serve 620,000
customers in eastern Massachusetts.
Reliant Energy, based in Houston, is an international energy
services firm with $11.5 billion in annual revenue and assets
totaling more than $19 billion.
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