BOISE, IDAHO — The Washington State Court has postponed the dates for Albertsons Companies’ hearing regarding the restraining order against the company’s pending special dividend payment to stockholders to Nov. 16-17. Until then, the temporary restraining order remains in effect.
Following The Kroger Co.’s proposed acquisition of Albertsons, the Washington State Court granted a temporary restraining order on Nov. 3 on the basis that the company would be unable to compete if it paid the $6.85 per common share special dividend while the merger is under antitrust review.
In a statement released Nov. 8, Albertsons said that the court’s assertion was incorrect and that it was looking to have the restraining order overturned.
Albertsons stated that the lawsuit from the State of Washington had no legal basis as the company’s board of directors had unanimously approved the dividend.
“After payment of the special dividend, Albertsons Cos. will have approximately $3.0 billion of liquidity, including approximately $500 million in cash and approximately $2.5 billion available under its already existing asset-based lending facility, and expects to continue to generate strong revenues and positive free cash flow, further increasing liquidity,” the company’s Nov. 8 statement said. “Albertsons Cos. is confident that it will continue to make strategic progress following the payment of the special dividend, given its strong cash flows and low debt profile.”
On Nov. 8, Albertsons also announced that a request by the California, Illinois and District of Columbia Attorneys General for an additional temporary restraining order against the special dividend payment was denied by US District Court for the District of Columbia.