D.C. Judge Won’t Stop Albertsons Payout

Nov. 9, 2022
Albertsons must still deal with an adverse ruling in Washington state.

Contradicting a ruling in Washington state, a federal judge in the District of Columbia has ruled that Albertsons can proceed with a large shareholder payment ahead of a planned acquisition by Kroger.

The D.C. attorney general had sued to stop Albertsons, the No. 2 pure-play grocer in America, from making a $4 billion payout to shareholders. He argued that doing so would impede Albertsons’ ability to compete, forcing it to go ahead with the deal with Kroger, the No. 1 grocer.

Similar suits have been brought by attorneys general in several states. One of them, in Washington state, succeeded in getting a judge to issue a temporary injunction against the payment. But the D.C. judge rejected that argument, concluding that the payout was a separate matter from the Kroger deal.

The $24.6 billion deal remains blocked until the Washington case and others are resolved.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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