CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has entered into a new $6 billion, five-year credit agreement with 30 financial institutions. The company has immediate access to $4 billion under the credit agreement and $2 billion becomes available following the successful closing of Duke Energy's proposed merger with Progress Energy.
The credit agreement supports the company's commercial paper program and provides a valuable source of liquidity. The agreement replaces Duke Energy's existing $3.14 billion credit facility, which was set to expire in June 2012, and three Progress Energy facilities totaling approximately $2 billion, which expire in 2012 and 2013.
"We are very pleased with this new agreement, as well as the strength and diversity of the banks that are participating," said Stephen G. De May, Duke Energy's senior vice president of investor relations and treasurer. "This credit agreement will be a significant source of our liquidity for many years to come and adds to the financial strength and flexibility of the company's balance sheet."Wells Fargo, National Association, served as Administrative Agent for the credit agreement and Bank of America, N.A, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, PLC, served as Co-Syndication Agents. The following served as Co-Documentation Agents: Bank of China, New York Branch; Barclays Bank, PLC; Citibank, N.A.; Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, New York Branch; JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.; and UBS Securities LLC. Forty-nine percent of the total agreement is from banks based in North America, 34 percent is from banks based in Europe and 17 percent is from banks based in Asia. The Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world, and China Merchants Bank will collectively provide $676 million, or 11 percent of the credit agreement. This is the highest level of participation Chinese banks have ever had in a U.S. electric utility's credit facility. When completed, the Duke Energy/Progress Energy merger will create the nation's largest electric utility, as measured by enterprise value, market capitalization, generation assets, customers and numerous other criteria.