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Duke To Acquire Progress For $13.7B

Wall Street Journal - Jan 10, 2011

Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) will acquire Progress Energy Inc. (PGN) in an all-stock deal valued at about $13.7 billion, creating the country's largest utility.

The acquisition of a company roughly half its size will increase Duke's ability to deploy a "tsunami of capital" to retire and replace old plants, upgrade the grid, meet stricter environmental regulations and improve energy efficiencies, said James Rogers, the company's chief executive.

"When I look at that range of capital we will have to deploy I believe scale becomes very important to attract capital and the combined companies will have a very strong balance sheet," he said in an interview.

The combined company will serve 7.1 million electric customers with a mix of coal, natural gas, oil and renewable resources in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. It will also have what the companies called the nation's largest regulated nuclear fleet. The companies' combined generating capacity will be 57.2 gigawatts with annual earnings-per-share growth of 4%-6%.

Rogers said the deal should close by year end. It requires approval by federal regulators and state regulators in North and South Carolina. Approval will not be needed in other states because utilities will not change ownership.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2011-01-10 11:12:20

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