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Monday, January 10, 2011

Duke to buy Progress for $13.7B, (NYSE: DUK), (NYSE: PGN)

Duke Energy's (DUK.N) planned $13.7 billion purchase of Progress Energy Inc (PGN.N) is the biggest test yet of whether regulators will allow utilities to merge and fortify their finances for huge new investments. The deal, announced on Monday, would create the largest U.S. power company, if it wins approval from regulators, with 7.1 million electricity customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and 57,000 megawatts of generating capacity. Duke Energy Chief Executive and Chairman Jim Rogers said the combined company would be financially stronger and better able to cope with the huge costs facing the industry, from upgrading the power grid and adding new environmental controls to building a new generation of power plants, including new nuclear reactors.