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Shareholders Approve Duke-Cinergy Merger

Shareholders of both Duke Energy and Cinergy last week approved the merger of the two companies. Closing is expected as early as April.

Approximately 73% of outstanding Cinergy common shares voted, with 95.5% in favor of the merger. About 75% of Duke shares voted, with 95% favoring the merger. Under the merger agreement, each common share of Cinergy will be converted to 1.56 shares of Duke Energy common stock upon closing.

"The new Duke Energy will have greater financial strength and flexibility, which will allow us to continue to deliver strong returns for our shareholders and to maintain the quality and reliability of service that our customers expect and deserve," said Duke CEO Paul Anderson,

Upon closing of the deal, the franchised electric and gas utilities -- Duke Power in North and South Carolina, Cincinnati Gas & Electric in Ohio, Union Light Heat and Power in Kentucky, and PSI Energy in Indiana -- will all be known as Duke Energy.

"We believe using one name supports one company, one stock and one team, regardless of how our business grows and evolves," Anderson said. "The unified name supports our focus on providing consistent, top-notch service for our customers across all of our businesses."

After the merger, Anderson will become chairman. James Rogers, currently chairman and CEO of Cinergy, will be president and CEO. Ann Maynard Gray will continue to serve as lead director of the new board, Anderson said Friday.

The merger, announced in May 2005 (see Daily GPI, May 10, 2005), received approvals in Ohio, Kentucky and South Carolina, from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The companies also have satisfied Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice review. Regulators in North Carolina and Indiana are considering settlement agreements between the companies and interested parties. The new company will have about $27 billion in annual revenue and about $2 billion in annual net income. The combined generation portfolio is about 54,000 MW.

Duke shares closed up 2 cents Friday at $28.11. Cinergy shares closed up 9 cents at $43.76.

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