Judge blocks Albertsons’ $4 billion dividend payment

SEATTLE, Wash. (CNN/KCAL) – A judge in King County, Washington has temporarily blocked Albertsons from paying investors billions of dollars before a proposed merger.

In October, Albertsons and rival Kroger entered an “agreement and plan of merger.”

As part of the deal, both stores agreed that Albertsons would pay its shareholders a “pre-closing dividend” up to $4 billion.

Washington’s attorney general filed a lawsuit to block the payout before the merger could be reviewed by state and federal antitrust enforcers.

The next hearing in the case is set for November 10th.

The A.G. is seeking an injunction to keep the dividend on hold while the lawsuit continues.

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