BOSTON, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Block & Leviton LLP, a Boston-based law firm representing investors nationwide, is investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duties by the Board of Directors of Duke Energy Corporation ("Duke Energy" or the "Company") (NYSE : DUK ) in connection with its merger with Progress Energy Inc. ("Progress Energy") and the subsequent ouster of Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson ("Johnson").
On July 3, 2012, Duke Energy announced that it had closed the merger with Progress Energy, making Progress Energy a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of Duke Energy, effective July 2, 2012. Within hours of closing the merger, the Duke Energy Board of Directors voted to oust Johnson. The Board voted to replace Johnson with the president of the Company and legacy Duke Energy employee, Jim Rogers ("Rogers"). Johnson will receive more than $44 million in severance, pension benefits, deferred compensation, and stock awards for his brief tenure as CEO, which Rogers assured regulators "will all be paid by the investors."
Shortly following this news, Standard & Poor's placed the Duke Energy on "Credit Watch," citing concerns regarding "unresolved issues on corporate governance, merger integration execution and management of pending operational challenges." On July 5, 2012, the North Carolina Attorney General and the North Carolina Utilities Commission (the "NCUC") launched investigations into whether the Company misled regulators prior to approval of the merger. The NCUC, which has the power to rescind its approval, held a hearing on July 10, 2012 to investigate the details surrounding Johnson's departure. Duke Energy's stock has fallen dramatically on this news, wiping out over $1 billion in market capitalization.
Block & Leviton's investigation seeks to determine, among other things, whether Duke Energy's Board of Directors breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the merger and subsequent events. If you have any information relevant to this investigation, or have questions about your legal rights, please contact Whitney Street, Esq. of Block & Leviton at (617) 398-5630 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Block & Leviton is a Boston-based law firm representing investors for violations of securities laws. The firm's lawyers have collectively been prosecuting securities cases on behalf of investors for over 50 years.
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SOURCE Block & Leviton LLP