Duke Energy Inc. (NYSE: DUK) agreed to acquire Piedmont Natural Gas Co. (NYSE: PNY) for $4.9 billion in cash, adding a distributor of cheap shale gas as growth in power demand slows.

Duke follows electric utility owners Southern Co., Emera Inc. and Black Hills Corp. which have acquired gas distributors in the past 12 months. The deal gives Duke a 50 percent stake in the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which runs from gas fields in West Virginia to Duke’s service area in North Carolina.

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.