What others are saying about the proposed merger of Duke Energy of Charlotte, N.C., and Progress Energy of Raleigh, N.C., parent of Progress Energy Florida:
"Raleigh would lose a Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, and potentially hundreds of employees; Charlotte would get a boost in prestige as the state's business capital. The acquisition would spell the end of Progress Energy's 102-year run as an independent company."
News & Observer (Raleigh)
"A major rationale in such deals is that efficiencies can be wrung out of the combined company by 'eliminating redundancies,' which is corporate-speak for layoffs."
Charlotte Business Journal
"Duke Energy may be the dominant partner in the proposed merger with Progress Energy, but the executive suite will be split down the middle. Counting proposed CEO Bill Johnson, who now holds that position at Progress, the Raleigh-based energy company would have five of the new Duke's top executives."
"Duke Energy will have the country's largest regulated customer base, with approximately 7.1 million electric customers in North and South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The new company will have a generating capacity of about 57,000 megawatts, outstripping Southern Company as the largest utility company in the U.S."
"Duke is currently the third-largest U.S. utility and would become both the largest in market value and generating capacity if the purchase is completed. That could create a hurdle for regulators, who have blocked or created roadblocks in other acquisitions in recent years. But analysts said the deal stood a good chance of winning approval."
New York Times
"It is the latest in a wave of utility deals, as companies seek to cut costs and combat falling prices by increasing their customer bases. Energy and power deals made up the biggest share of merger activity in 2010, accounting for 20 percent of announced takeovers."
"(Duke CEO James) Rogers has been a leading voice for the power sector in the U.S. climate legislation debate, supporting efforts last year for a federal cap-and-trade law that would also protect the financial interests of utilities."
Wall Street Journal
"Both companies operate fleets of fossil-fuel and nuclear-power plants—and have ambitions to build expensive new nuclear units. (Duke CEO James) Rogers and Progress CEO Bill Johnson have discussed the advantages of having utilities bulk up, allowing them to spread costs of projects that can run billions of dollars over a larger company and more customers."