N.C. Utilities Commission approves Duke Energy's acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has approved Duke Energy's acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. Today's order is the final regulatory approval needed to close the transaction.

The transaction is expected to close Monday, Oct. 3.

"This combination provides clear benefits to our customers and the environment as we continue to expand our use of low-cost and clean natural gas and invest in pipelines," said Lynn Good, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy. "We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Piedmont's team for years, and we are eager to welcome them to Duke Energy in the coming days."

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority and Piedmont's shareholders previously approved the transaction, and the United States Federal Trade Commission has already granted early termination of the waiting period under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Duke Energy will acquire Piedmont – an energy services company primarily engaged in regulated natural gas distribution – for approximately $4.9 billion in cash and assumption of approximately $1.8 billion in Piedmont existing net debt, representing total enterprise value of approximately $6.7 billion.

The acquisition will add Piedmont's 1 million natural gas customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee to Duke Energy's existing customer base of 525,000 natural gas customers and 7.4 million electric customers. Piedmont's Tennessee service territory represents a new addition to Duke Energy's footprint and includes the growing Metropolitan Nashville area and seven middle-Tennessee counties.

Piedmont will retain its name, operate as a business unit of Duke Energy and maintain its significant presence in Charlotte.

Among the benefits of the acquisition for North Carolina and South Carolina are:

  • To ensure Piedmont's North Carolina natural gas customers receive a benefit from the projected transaction-related cost savings, their bills collectively will decrease by approximately $10 million by Dec. 31, 2016. Piedmont's South Carolina natural gas customer bills collectively will decrease by approximately $1.1 million.

  • The combined company has committed to make annual charitable and community support contributions of at least $17.5 million in North Carolina in 2017-2020. In South Carolina, committed annual contributions during the four-year period are expected to total $3.55 million.

  • The combined company has committed to provide $7.5 million to low-income household energy assistance and community workforce development programs in North Carolina, and $1.6 million in South Carolina, during the first year after the acquisition.

  • North Carolina and South Carolina retail and wholesale customers are expected to receive a proportional share of the anticipated $35 million in fuel-related savings (approximately $22.8 million for North Carolina customers, $6.7 million for South Carolina customers and $5.5 million for wholesale customers). This is in addition to the $687 million in savings already guaranteed in connection with Duke Energy's 2012 merger with Progress Energy.

About Duke Energy 
Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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Media Contact: Tom Williams