Kroger-Albertsons deal on hold pending FTC review

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Kroger-Albertsons deal on hold pending FTC review

The $25 billion Kroger-Albertsons deal remains on hold pending Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review, the Los Angeles Times reports. Last week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and his peers in several other states demanded that Albertsons Cos. delay paying a $4 billion dividend to investors until after the merger is reviewed by the federal entity.

This comes as concerns about price surges and employee layoffs were voiced right after the bid was announced. Kroger said that Albertsons would pay a special cash dividend to shareholders of record Oct. 24. It is scheduled to be payable Nov. 7.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 in Los Angeles, which represents 20,000-plus members, issued a statement opposing the dividend. The organization alleged the merger would result in the “devaluation of the company at a time when consumers are facing crushing inflation,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Albertsons is legally required to continue competing with Kroger while the merger is subject to state and federal review. For this reason, the attorneys general said to the outlet that “paying a dividend of this size will hamper its ability to meaningfully” do so.

On the other hand, Albertsons representatives have said that the planned combination will provide “significant benefits to consumers, associates and communities and offers a compelling alternative to larger and nonunion competitors”. 

A final date for the review has not yet been set by authorities.

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