More lawsuits filed over Duke Energy merger

Two more lawsuits have been filed in connection with the Duke Energy merger in the US.

The federal lawsuits have been sought in the US District Court by investors who believe the company misled them by changing chief executives after the merger with Progress Energy.

Jim Rogers Both seek class-action status and name as defendants CEO Jim Rogers, Chief Financial Officer Lynn Good, controller Steven Young and Duke directors apart from former Progress board members, reports the Charlotte Observer.

The Nieman suit claims Duke filed a “false and misleading” registration statement with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission in stating that former Progress CEO Bill Johnson would lead the combined companies in a “merger of equals.” Johnson was instead forced to resign hours after the merger closed July 2.

The first lawsuit to be filed over the CEO switch was filed last week by an Alabama shareholder in a Delaware court. The suit claimed Duke board members acted in bad faith in forcing out Johnson. Duke Energy has said the suit had no basis.

Several lawsuits had already been filed on behalf of Progress shareholders after the merger was announced in early 2011. Those were settled within a few months.

The N.C. Utilities Commission and the N.C. attorney general are also investigating the aftermath of the merger.

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