Buyout firm Riverstone Holdings agreed to acquire Talen Energy Corp. (NYSE: TLN), the U.S. independent power producer squeezed by cheap natural gas and weak demand, for $1.8 billion in cash.

Energy deals have been picking up. Duke Energy Inc. (NYSE: DUK) said it will buy Piedmont Natural Gas Co. (NYSE: PNY); Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC) agreed to buy Memorial Resource Development Corp. (Nasdaq: MRD); and TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) is purchasing Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. (NYSE: CPGX).

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