CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 2, 2003 — Duke Energy said it has prevailed in two recent legal matters related to its energy trading business.
U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York signed an order on Dec. 26 granting “in all respects” Duke Energy’s request for dismissal of all the plaintiffs’ claims pending in a consolidated matter consisting of 13 shareholder class action lawsuits. The lawsuits had alleged that Duke Energy improperly engaged in so-called “round-trip” trades to allegedly overstate revenues.
“We are gratified that the judge has ordered the dismissal of the cases in all respects,” said Rick Priory, chairman and chief executive officer. “The increased number of class action lawsuits is clearly a sign of the times, and it is up to the courts to evaluate each case. We defended ourselves vigorously and obviously are pleased with the court’s ruling.”
Also, in late December, an arbitration panel ruled in favor of Duke Energy in its dispute with ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM – News) concerning the companies’ joint ownership of Duke Energy Trading & Marketing, which is 60 percent owned by Duke Energy and 40 percent owned by ExxonMobil. The panel ruled that ExxonMobil is not entitled to recover any damages and granted Duke Energy’s requests for declaratory relief, which includes rulings regarding the company’s discretion in the type of trading activity that can be conducted outside of the joint venture.
“We are pleased to put this dispute behind us and look forward to continuing to work closely with our partner, ExxonMobil, in providing superior energy marketing and trading services to our customers,” Priory said.
Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses — meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.