Shares in Piedmont Natural Gas Co. climbed 8.5% in thin premarket trading Monday after Duke Energy Corp. announced plans to buy Piedmont for $4.9 billion in cash. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the buyout deal, said Piedmont and Duke in a news release. Piedmont shareholders will receive $60 in cash for each share of common stock, representing a roughly 40% premium to Piedmont's closing price on Friday, the release said. The companies also said Duke will assume about $1.8 billion in Piedmont's existing net debt, representing a total enterprise value of about $6.7 billion.
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