Business

Duke submits merger-related records to NC regulators

Posted August 7, 2012

— North Carolina utilities regulators are disclosing internal materials collected from Duke Energy Corp. in an ongoing investigation into its takeover of Progress Energy Inc.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Tuesday posted more than 600 pages of emails and other information Charlotte-based Duke delivered to the regulator. Another 1,200 pages of documents that the company filed with the state are confidential and not open to public review.

The commission and Attorney General Roy Cooper demanded documents as they investigate Duke's surprise decision to change a key detail of its takeover even as regulators were considering approval – who would lead the combined company.

Progress Chief Executive Bill Johnson, who had been slated to become the top executive at the firm after the merger, was forced to resign by the Duke-controlled board within hours of the July 2 merger. The board then named Duke CEO Jim Rogers, who was supposed to be chairman of the utility, to replace Johnson.

The few nuggets in the public documents include a statement from Duke board member Dan DiMicco in November 2010, when the two companies were still negotiating a deal to become the nation's largest electric utility.

DiMicco said in an email that he thought it was a bad idea to give Johnson a two-year trial period as CEO.

"He's either the right guy or he's not. If he's not, then it is a deal-breaker for me," he wrote.

Rogers said in a May email that he feared the new company wouldn't value women. He said two female Duke executives decided to take other jobs after having "disheartening conversations" with their new bosses from Progress.

There is another email from a current Duke board member expressing confidence in Johnson to lead the new company, and there are plenty of documents related to the rush to get the Duke board together to vote on ousting Johnson.

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  • nerd1of3 Aug 8, 9:36 a.m.

    From: Ann Gray
    Sent: Monday, July 2, 2012 1:49pm
    To: Jim Rogers
    Subject: Test

    Bill,

    I am in Charlotte and would like to meet with you at the company's headquarters following the executive session, so I would appreciate your waiting for me there.

    Ann

    HMM - seems there was a couple of hours before Wall Street closed for the day to maybe try and contact the Utility Commission to give them the heads up there was going to be a change or could be a change in the CEO. I mean why would you send a "test" message???

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 8, 9:02 a.m.

    This merger is bad for NC. At a time when families are struggling, we don't need an increase in electric rates, yet they're going ahead with it. The increase in rates also mean an increase in the amount of taxes you will pay. This increase revenue will help pay the raises they put in for the top officals of the state goverment. Now why in the world would they be giving raises to top officals who approval rating is below 60%? If you or I was in a company and our review showed unsatisfactor, we wouldn't be expecting a raise, but feel on notice that we're headed out the door. It seem no matter who your Rep. is, you can call them and get a lot of hot air, but no action.

  • Wendellcatlover Aug 8, 8:43 a.m.

    "As noted in the fact check of Citizens for Progress' 1st ad, being mayor of an NC city is a part-time job. The annual salary for Charlotte's mayor is $22,000 w/ a $10,000 expense allowance and a $4,800 auto allowance...Charlotte's current mayor, Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, is a lawyer, working in the corporate legal dept for DesignLine Corp. Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins, a Republican, is the president of NAI Piedmont Triad, a business real estate services firm. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, an unaffiliated candidate, is small business owner."
    See: http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/story/11168235/

    Can any of us comfortably support a family off $36,000? I didn't think so. There's nothing wrong with him having another job. Look at the others who are currently doing the same thing. The fact that it happened to be with 1 of the companies involved in this merger is completely coincidental.

  • NC_Beach_n_Mtn_guy Aug 7, 7:26 p.m.

    That is amazing that Pat McCrory and other politicians are behind this fiasco. OOOOoooo I see, the Utility Commission are the politicians! RECALL THE UTILITY COMMISSION TOO! Lying to the Utility Commission and then not reversing the merger, does something smell more fishy than ever???!!!!

  • Southern Discomfort Aug 7, 7:04 p.m.

    lol @ Tax Man. Why? This was Pat McCrory's main work for the past year.

  • Boycott_WRAL_Advertisers Aug 7, 6:55 p.m.

    Apparently Duke told the commission one thing while planning to do another. That's called lying.

    This merger needs to be dissolved or it makes a complete mockery of the commission and the approval process.

  • judyfaybarbour Aug 7, 6:04 p.m.

    I hope for the sake of PE employees and customers the merger process is dissolved.

  • Tax Man Aug 7, 5:31 p.m.

    Please just cancel the merger, put Progress back in charge of its customers and prohibit any further merger for 10 years. Fix the rates at pre-merger levels and do not allow any increases for 10 years - if Progress can reduce rates give their management staff a big fat bonus! Let Duke deal with their own customers but don't let them interfere with the Progress customers.

  • NC_Beach_n_Mtn_guy Aug 7, 5:08 p.m.

    CAN WE REPLACE THE UTILITY COMMISSION? THEY ARE MAKING A MONOPOLY! ALSO RUINING PROGRESS ENERGY AS WE KNOW IT!!! PUT THINGS BACK AS THEY WERE OR DISOLVE DUKE ENERGY!!!

  • Gold Aug 7, 5:08 p.m.

    I'm sure these documents have been thoroughly scrubbed, especially with an extension on their due date. Jim Rogers needs to be fired! If this merger stays, the smartest thing to do here is let Rogers go and bring in a new 3rd party CEO who has no affiliation with either company.

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