Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. is urging Duke Energy Corp. to consider separating into three companies, in what would be a major transformation of one of the nation’s biggest utilities.
Elliott is seeking board seats at Duke and wants the company to form a strategic-review committee that would explore the possibility of a tax-free separation of the utility into three companies, it said in a letter to Duke’s board that it released Monday. The three companies would be based on the three major geographies it serves: the Carolinas, Florida and parts of the Midwest.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Elliott’s plans earlier Monday after previously reporting that Elliott had a stake in Duke and was agitating for change. Elliott told Duke in the letter that it is one of its 10-largest shareholders, which would put the stake above $900 million.
Duke said it would review Elliott’s proposal, which it noted is one in a series the firm has made since last July. “Throughout, Duke Energy’s Board of Directors has reviewed their proposals in depth and determined that they are not in the best interests of the company.