A U.S. federal court on Tuesday denied requests to temporarily block Albertsons Companies Inc's (ACI.N) $4 billion dividend payment to shareholders before closing of the proposed merger with Kroger Co , but the payout remained blocked due to another court order, APA reports citing Reuters.
The federal court in Washington D.C. denied issuing a restraining order in the case, which was filed by the attorneys general of California, Illinois and Washington D.C and sought to block the payout until antitrust reviews of the proposed merger were completed.
However, the payment remained blocked as a state court in the state of Washington last week barred Albertsons from paying the special dividend until Nov. 10, saying that it would weaken its ability to compete as the antitrust reviews go on.
A hearing on that case is scheduled for Nov. 10.
"By eliminating its cash-on-hand and nearly doubling its debt, Albertsons will be in a weakened competitive position relative to Kroger, thereby harming grocery consumers and workers throughout Washington," State Court Commissioner Henry Judson wrote in issuing that temporary restraining order.