Duke Energy/Piedmont Merger Closes, Dominion Keeps Control of ACP

top-dogIn October of last year, MDN shared the news that Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States and a utility with 7.3 million customers in the southeast and Midwest, announced they are buying Piedmont Natural Gas (see Duke Energy Buys Piedmont NatGas for $6.7B, Marcellus Connection). Piedmont is a midstream and natgas LDC (local distribution company, or utility) with operations primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It is a story of a big southern electric utility buying a smaller southern natural gas utility. But there’s more to the story. Part of the purchase includes ownership in two very important Marcellus pipeline projects: the Constitution Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). With respect to ACP, Duke was already one of the project owner/investors. Together with Piedmont’s share of ACP, Duke’s combined new ownership share (47%) threatened to be larger than the builder/sponsor of the project, Dominion (45%). The Duke/Piedmont merger happened on Monday. At the same time, Dominion exercised a clause in the partnership allowing them to purchase another 3% share, making Dominion’s new ownership stake 48%–still the top dog…

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