Washington Judge Refuses to Block Albertsons Payout

Dec. 12, 2022
But he stays his ruling to give the attorney general time to appeal.

A Washington state judge has declined to stop Albertsons Cos. from giving its shareholders a big payday in advance of its acquisition by Kroger Co.

Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson had sued to stop Albertsons from paying the $4 billion dividend, which it had announced shortly after the two food retailing giants declared their intention to combine. He argued that if Albertsons was allowed to make the payout, it would cripple Albertsons’ ability to compete, making the acquisition by Kroger inevitable.

But state judge Ken Schubert ruled in effect that Albertsons has a right to do what it wants with its money. He stayed his ruling until Dec. 19, leaving a temporary restraining order blocking the payout in place, to give the plaintiffs time to appeal.

Attorneys general in Illinois and California are also suing to stop the merger. A similar lawsuit in Washington, D.C., was dismissed in early November.

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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