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Duke, Progress Expected to Close Merger After July 2 Hearing

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June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Duke Energy Corp.’s $17.8 billion purchase of Progress Energy Inc. is expected to close on July 2 after a meeting of South Carolina regulators.

The Public Service Commission of South Carolina plans to review how the companies will coordinate electricity delivery from their combined power plants, Mike Hughes, a spokesman for Raleigh, North Carolina-based Progress, said in a telephone interview.

The merger creating the largest U.S. power company was approved earlier today by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, according to a regulatory filing.

While the approval from North Carolina regulators was the last needed to close the deal, the utilities won’t complete the transaction until South Carolina’s commission reviews the agreement during a July 2 hearing slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. local time, Hughes said.

Assuming the South Carolina hearing’s outcome is favorable, “we expect to close Monday afternoon,” Hughes said.

Tom Williams, a spokesman for Charlotte-based Duke, said the company won’t speculate on a time for closing the transaction until South Carolina regulators approve the purchase.

The takeover by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke was announced in January 2011 and will create the largest owner of U.S. electric utilities.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net; Julie Johnsson in Chicago at jjohnsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net; Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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