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 December 22, 2015 - 10:45 AM EST
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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) grants antitrust approval of Duke Energy's proposed acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy's proposed acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) has cleared a key condition needed for completion, the two companies announced today.

The Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the 30-day waiting period under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act with regard to the acquisition.

Expiration or termination of the waiting period is one of the conditions required for completion of the acquisition.

The transaction still requires approval by Piedmont shareholders and the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Duke Energy and Piedmont also are providing information regarding the acquisition to the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

The companies are targeting a closing of the transaction by the end of 2016.

About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located 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 United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at www.duke-energy.com. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas 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 portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities that are wholesale customers. 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. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available at www.piedmontng.com.

Cautionary statements regarding forward-looking information
This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions.

These forward-looking statements are identified by terms and phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "estimate," "expect," "continue," "should," "could," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "will," "potential," "forecast," "target," "guidance," "outlook," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from the results predicted. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the proposed merger involving Duke Energy or Piedmont, including future financial and operating results, Duke Energy's or Piedmont's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the expected timing of completion of the transaction, and other statements that are not historical facts. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: the ability to obtain the requisite approvals of Piedmont's shareholders; the risk that Duke Energy or Piedmont may be unable to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals required for the merger, or that required governmental and regulatory approvals may delay the merger or result in the imposition of conditions that could cause the parties to abandon the merger; the risk that a condition to closing of the merger may not be satisfied; the timing to consummate the proposed merger; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk that the cost savings and any other synergies from the transaction may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; the diversion of management time on merger-related issues; and the effect of changes in governmental regulations. Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in Duke Energy's and Piedmont's and their respective subsidiaries' reports filed with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than described. Neither Duke Energy nor Piedmont undertakes any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Additional information and where to find it
This communication may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the merger of Piedmont Natural Gas into Duke Energy. In connection with the merger, Piedmont Natural Gas intends to file relevant materials with the SEC, including a proxy statement in preliminary and definitive form.  INVESTORS OF PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS ARE URGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS AND THE MERGER. Investors may obtain a free copy of these materials (when they are available) and other documents filed by Piedmont Natural Gas with the SEC at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov, at Piedmont Natural Gas' website at www.piedmontng.com  or by sending a written request to Piedmont Natural Gas company, Inc. at Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc., Corporate Secretary, 4720 Piedmont Row Drive Charlotte, North Carolina, 28210.  Security holders may also read and copy any reports, statements and other information filed by Piedmont Natural Gas with the SEC, at the SEC public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 or visit the SEC's website for further information on its public reference room.

Participants in the solicitation  
Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the transaction. Information regarding Duke Energy's directors and executive officers is available in Duke Energy's proxy statement filed with the SEC on March 26, 2015 in connection with its 2015 annual meeting of stockholders, and information regarding Piedmont Natural Gas' directors and executive officers is available in Piedmont Natural Gas' proxy statement filed with the SEC on January 16, 2015 in connection with its 2015 annual meeting of shareholders. Other information regarding persons who may be deemed participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the proxy statement and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/federal-trade-commission-ftc-grants-antitrust-approval-of-duke-energys-proposed-acquisition-of-piedmont-natural-gas-300196353.html

SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas


Source: PR Newswire (December 22, 2015 - 10:45 AM EST)

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