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Duke, Progress extend merger deadline to July

Progress Energy and Duke Energy have set July 8 as a new date to complete their corporate merger, seven months past their original self-imposed deadline.

The two electric utilities set their new date in filing this week at the Securities Exchange Commission as they work toward completing their $26 billion deal. It means either company can abandon the merger after the set date expires, but they both have the option of adding more extensions.

Progress spokesman Mike Hughes said the new date is a formality, replacing the previous termination date that expired Monday because the merger is still being worked out.

"Having an initial termination date is fairly standard in agreements of this sort (which require lengthy approvals)," Hughes said by email. "It’s the date on which either company can walk away from the deal without paying a penalty."

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