Albertsons restraining order on special dividend payment still in effect as court hearing postponed


Albertsons Companies Inc. ACI, +0.72% said Wednesday that the Washington State Court has postponed the hearing on the grocery company’s proposed payment of a special dividend. The stock rose 0.5% in afternoon trading. The postponement means the temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by the court remains in effect, to restrain the company from paying the $4 billion, or $6.85 per share, special dividend that was announced in October as part of the $24.6 billion deal for Kroger Co. KR, +2.12% to buy Albertsons. “Albertsons Cos. continues to believe that the claim brought by the State of Washington is meritless and provides no legal basis for canceling or postponing a dividend that has been duly and unanimously approved by Albertsons Cos.’ fully informed Board of Directors,” Albertsons said in a statement. The stock has tumbled 27.4% over the past three months, while Kroger shares have slipped 2.3% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.85% has lost 7.8%.

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