Released By Cinergy
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Approves Cinergy/Duke Merger
CINCINNATI – Cinergy Corp. (NYSE:CIN) announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved an agreement resolving all issues related to the Commission’s review of the company’s planned merger with Duke Energy.
“With the approval today, Ohio becomes the third state to recognize the benefits for all stakeholders from the combination of Duke and Cinergy,” said Greg Ficke, president of The Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., Cinergy’s Ohio operating company. “Our focus now is to continue to provide the service quality and reasonable prices our customers have come to expect.”
Key elements of the agreement include:
As part of the agreement, Cinergy/CG&E provided a list of merger commitments designed to protect its customers from adverse impacts in retail customer service, customer satisfaction and reliability in achieving merger savings. Retail rates will not be impacted by the costs associated with the new Duke Energy acquiring Cinergy stock or any premium paid in the acquisition.
The agreement was reached with the City of Cincinnati, Interstate Gas Supply, Kroger Company, Ohio Energy Group and Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio Association of School Business Officials and the Ohio School Board Association.
In other action, the PUCO also approved an agreement on CG&E’s first increase in rates for Ohio electric distribution service in more than 10 years. The increase of $51.5 million, or approximately four percent in annual revenues, will take effect in January 2006.
The agreement recognizes in rates the investment of $734 million by CG&E over the last 12 years to improve the reliability of its electric delivery system. It also reflects increases in electric transmission costs from the Midwest Independent System Operator, as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the PUCO.
Coupled with an increase in the generation rate approved last year under CG&E’s rate stabilization plan, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatthours a month would see an increase in their total bill from the current $79.64 per month to $105.53. The merger rate credits approved today will reduce the increase by $1.32 on January 1, 2006 and an additional $1.42 after the merger closes.
Cinergy/CG&E serves approximately 650,000 customers in Southwest Ohio and is an affiliate of Cinergy Corp. (NYSE:CIN), which has a balanced, integrated portfolio consisting of two core businesses: regulated operations and commercial businesses. Cinergy’s regulated public utilities in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky serve 1.5 million electric customers and about 500,000 gas customers. In addition, its Indiana regulated company owns 7,000 megawatts of generation. Cinergy’s competitive commercial businesses have 6,300 megawatts of generating capacity with a profitable balance of stable existing customer portfolios, new customer origination, marketing and trading, and industrial-site cogeneration. Cinergy’s integrated businesses make it a Midwest leader in providing both low-cost generation and reliable electric and gas service.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed transaction, a registration statement of Duke Energy Holding Corp. (Registration No. 333-126318), which includes a preliminary prospectus and a preliminary joint proxy statement of Duke Energy and Cinergy, and other materials have been filed with the SEC and are publicly available. WE URGE INVESTORS TO READ THE DEFINITIVE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND THESE OTHER MATERIALS CAREFULLY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT DUKE ENERGY, CINERGY, DUKE ENERGY HOLDING CORP. AND THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors will be able to obtain free copies of the joint proxy statement-prospectus as well as other filed documents containing information about Duke Energy and Cinergy at http://www.sec.gov, the SEC’s Web site. Free copies of Duke Energy’s SEC filings are also available on Duke Energy’s Web site at http://www.duke-energy.com/investors/, and free copies of Cinergy’s SEC filings are also available on Cinergy’s Web site at http://www.cinergy.com.
Participants in the Solicitation
Duke Energy, Cinergy and their respective executive officers and directors may be deemed, under SEC rules, to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from Duke Energy’s or Cinergy’s stockholders with respect to the proposed transaction. Information regarding the officers and directors of Duke Energy is included in its definitive proxy statement for its 2005 annual meeting filed with the SEC on March 31, 2005. Information regarding the officers and directors of Cinergy is included in its definitive proxy statement for its 2005 annual meeting filed with the SEC on March 28, 2005. More detailed information regarding the identity of potential participants, and their direct or indirect interests, by securities, holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in the registration statement and proxy statement and other materials to be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction.