News Release
March 07, 2003

DUKE ENERGY WILL EXIT MERCHANT FINANCE BUSINESS

Closure of Duke Capital Partners Will Boost Positive Cash Flow

in 2003 and 2004

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy announced today that it will exit the merchant finance business at its wholly owned subsidiary, Duke Capital Partners, LLC.

 

The company expects to boost cash flows in 2003 and 2004 as Duke Capital Partners’ portfolio of approximately $350 million is sold or matures. Approximately $50 million in portfolio assets has already been monetized this year. Duke Energy expects that approximately 50 percent of the remaining portfolio will either mature or be sold before the end of 2003, with the remainder being closed out during the first six months of 2004.

 

Duke Capital Partners provided debt and equity capital and financial advisory services to businesses in the North American energy industry. It was formed in 2000 and had 30 employees at offices in Charlotte and Houston.

 

“Duke Capital Partners built a sound portfolio of quality assets in its three years of operations,” said Richard J. Osborne, executive vice president and chief risk officer. “However, the energy industry has changed tremendously in that time, and the prospects for Duke Capital Partners were severely limited by Duke Energy’s decision to focus its more limited capital investments on its traditional business segments.” Osborne is responsible for the Duke Ventures business group, which includes Duke Capital Partners and Crescent Resources, the company’s real estate development business.

 

Earlier this year Duke Energy announced that its financial plan included realizing proceeds of $600 million in 2003 from the sale of non-strategic assets. Today’s announcement of proceeds from the closure of Duke Capital Partners follows earlier announcements of asset sales worth more than $250 million in proceeds this year.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

 

This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although Duke Energy believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its goals will be achieved. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements herein include legislative and regulatory developments; the outcomes of litigation and regulatory proceedings or inquiries; the effectiveness of the company's risk management and internal controls systems; the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices for oil, gas, coal, electricity and interest rates; the extent of success in connecting natural gas supplies to gathering and processing systems and in connecting and expanding gas and electric markets; the performance of electric generation, pipeline and gas processing facilities; the timing and success of efforts to develop domestic and international power, pipeline, gathering, processing and other infrastructure projects; conditions of the capital markets and equity markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements; and other factors discussed in Duke Energy's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Contact: Terry Francisco
Phone: 704/373-6680
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: thfrancisco@duke-energy.com