Duke Energy settles lawsuit linked to 2012 Duke-Progress merger

Duke Energy has reached an agreement to settle a shareholder lawsuit linked to the 2012 merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy for about $146 million, the company said.

The agreement, subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte, would end a class action lawsuit (Nieman v. Duke Energy Corp., et al.) brought by certain Duke Energy shareholders who alleged that Duke Energy Corp., certain Duke Energy executives and certain members of Duke Energy's board of directors made misrepresentations related to a post-merger CEO change.

Duke Energy and the named executives and directors denied the allegations and any wrongdoing, as part of the agreement.

The settlement would avoid the cost of prolonged litigation and eliminate uncertainty for the company related to the lawsuit, the company said.

Duke Energy maintains insurance coverage that would apply to most of the settlement amount. Company shareholders, not customers, would pay the remaining portion. Previously, the company recorded a $26-million reserve for the estimated portion not covered by insurance.

The agreement covers shareholders "who purchased or acquired shares of Duke common stock between June 11, 2012 and July 9, 2012, inclusive, including former Progress shareholders who acquired shares of Duke common stock directly in the merger of Duke and Progress."

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