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Albertsons Cos. Issues Statement On Merger Restraint

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Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Companies has announced that the attorney general of Washington has been granted a temporary restraining order by a commissioner assistant to the judge. The TRO restrains the company from paying the previously announced $6.85 per common share special dividend, scheduled to be paid on Nov. 7.

The order enables the court to consider the merits at a hearing. The order remains in effect until Nov. 10, unless within that time, an order is entered extending or dismissing the TRO.

Albertsons Cos. intends to seek to overturn the restraint because the temporary order was based on the assertion that payment would impair its ability to compete while its proposed merger with The Kroger Co. is under antitrust review.

Albertsons Cos. stated in a release that this “lawsuit and the similar lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of California, Illinois and the District of Columbia are meritless and provide no legal basis for canceling or postponing a dividend that has been unanimously approved by Albertsons Cos.’ board of directors.”

Albertsons Cos. has delivered “more than $75 billion in revenues in the rolling four quarters ended Sept. 10, following the performance of $71.9 billion in revenues in fiscal 2021. The size of the dividend reflects the company’s strength, rather than the illogical and damaging accusation that it is an attempt to weaken the company.”

Albertsons Cos. will continue to make progress following the payment of the special dividend, given its cash flows and low debt profile. After payment of the special dividend, Albertsons Cos. will have about $3 billion of liquidity, including $500 million in cash and $2.5 billion available under its asset-based lending facility, and expects to continue to generate revenues and free cash flow, furthering increasing liquidity.

Albertsons Cos. intends to continue arguing that there is no basis to continue restraining the payment.

For more information, visit albertsons.com.

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