Duke Energy Corp. (DUK:US) reached an “agreement in principle” with the staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission on terms for approval of its $16.7 billion takeover of Progress Energy Inc. (PGN:US), a staff attorney said.
The companies are reviewing a written version of the agreement, Gisele Rankin, senior staff attorney for the North Carolina commission, said today in a telephone interview.
Duke and Progress aim to close the transaction by July 1, although state and federal approvals are still needed. The agreement in principle covers $650 million in customer savings the companies have promised by coordinating power plant operations and will assure utility customers won’t pay the costs to comply with federal conditions, Rankin said.
Progress Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson, to become Duke’s CEO once the deal closes, told investors on a conference call that a North Carolina settlement would come “pretty soon.”
The agreement with staff is subject to approvals by the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Rankin said.
“It is totally contingent on FERC approving everything as filed without material change or condition,” Rankin said. “If FERC changes a lot of stuff, it sort of blows it out of the water.”
Progress, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, rose 1.2 percent to $54.17 at 2:27 p.m. in New York. Duke, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, rose 0.14 percent to $21.51.
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