Final approval secured for Piedmont Natural Gas purchase of NCNG

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 5, 2003 — On Sept. 2, 2003 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved Piedmont Natural Gas’ requested exemption under the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) in connection with Piedmont’s pending purchase of North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation (NCNG) and 50% of Eastern North Carolina Natural Gas (EasternNC) from Progress Energy, Inc.

The SEC ruling is the final regulatory approval needed in connection with the pending transaction, which is now set to close on September 30, 2003.

In October 2002, Piedmont Natural Gas had announced its plans to purchase NCNG for $417.5 million. NCNG serves approximately 178,000 natural gas customers in eastern and southern North Carolina, including approximately 56,000 customers served by municipalities that are wholesale customers of NCNG.

The purchase of NCNG will increase Piedmont’s number of customers served to more than 918,000 in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont is also purchasing Progress Energy’s equity interest in EasternNC for $7.5 million. EasternNC is a joint venture between Progress Energy and Albemarle Pamlico Economic Development Corporation (APEC) to bring natural gas service to 14 counties in eastern North Carolina.

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