January 10, 2011 — Duke Energy Corp. agreed to buy Progress Energy Inc. for nearly $14 billion in stock, in a deal that could create the largest utility in the U.S.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy will also assume $12 billion in debt held by Progress Energy, which is based in Raleigh, N.C.
“Combining Duke Energy and Progress Energy creates a utility with greater financial strength and enhanced ability to meet our challenges head-on,” said Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy.
Duke Energy expects to carry out a reverse stock split immediately prior to the closing of the deal, which is expected by the end of 2011. The boards of directors of both companies approved the deal, which will now require a shareholder vote.
Duke Energy said it would emerge with the largest regulated customer base in the U.S. — 7.1 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
The two companies, when joined, would also control about 57,000 MW of generating capacity.
Progress Energy CEO William Johnson, 57, will lead the utility, replacing Rogers, 63, who will retire.