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Duke Energy Gets a Jolt After NextEra Energy Bid Rebuff

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Duke Energy  (DUK) - Get Free Report appears to be playing hard to get.

Shares of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based energy giant jumped on Wednesday after reports that it rebuffed a potential takeover bid from NextEra Energy (NEE) - Get Report, the world’s largest utility owner by market value, paving the way for another bid.

Duke Energy stock was up more than 8% in early trading on Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke turned down overtures from Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra.

NextEra is still interested in pursuing a deal, and is working with banks to help arrange financing for a potential transaction, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both reported, each citing people familiar with the discussions.

A marriage of the two largest U.S. utility providers would create an energy giant serving more than 13 million American homes and businesses across the U.S. South and Midwest.

It would also help Duke, which suffered a setback this summer when it was forced alongside partner Dominion Energy (D) - Get Report to kill plans for the controversial Atlantic Coast gas pipeline along the U.S. East Coast, citing ongoing delays and “cost uncertainty.”

Both companies could use one another as partners for different reasons: in Duke's case to diversify away from coal and toward renewable energy, which NextEra focuses on, and in NextEra's case to put cash to work and gain a larger footprint. 

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