Duke Energy to buy Piedmont Natural Gas Co for $4.9 bn

US energy and utility major Duke Energy Inc today struck a deal to buy Piedmont Natural Gas Co for $4.9 billion in cash.

Under the terms of the friendly deal, Piedmont shareholders will receive $60 in cash for each share of Piedmont common stock, amounting to a 40 per cent premium to Piedmont's 23 October closing price.

Duke Energy will also assume about $1.8 billion in Piedmont's net debt, taking the total deal amount to about $6.7 billion.

Duke Energy will fund the transaction with a combination of debt, between $500 million and $750 million of newly issued equity and other cash sources.

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

Duke Energy will add one member of Piedmont's board of directors to its board, after closing of the transaction.

Piedmont is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial, industrial and power-generation utility customers in parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

Its subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage, and regulated intrastate natural gas transportation businesses.

Piedmont began operations in 1951 in Charlotte and Duke Energy was founded in the city in 1904. Both companies also are key partners in the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will be the first major natural gas pipeline to serve Eastern North Carolina.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the US serving around 7.3 million electric customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.

Its commercial power and international energy 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 US.