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DukeNet joint venture complete

Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. said it has completed a joint venture with Alinda Capital Partners to grow DukeNet Communications.

DukeNet also said Tuesday that it has closed on a $150 million senior-secured credit facility to fund expansions.

The joint venture was originally announced June 25 when Alinda acquired 50 percent of the ownership in DukeNet — a developer and manager, primarily in the Southeast, of fiber optic communications systems — from an affiliate of Duke in exchange for $137 million.

Duke said the $150 million credit facility has a five-year maturity.

Duke spokesman Greg Efthimiou said DukeNet creates, connects and sells bandwidth to large retail providers of Internet service, such as Verizon Wireless. He said DukeNet has been a small, but profitable, part of Duke.

Efthimiou said the capital could allow DukeNet to build infrastructure and expand its network. It also could be used for acquisitions of smaller telecommunications companies, he said.

RBC Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Securities, BNP Paribas, CoBank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Regions Bank, First Tennessee Bank, ING Capital, SunLife Assurance Co. of Canada and Brown Brothers Harriman arranged the credit facility.

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