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Albertsons $4 Billion Dividend Temporarily Barred by Judge

  • State judge pauses payment at request of attorney general
  • Grocer planned to use $2.5 billion cash, loans for dividend
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Albertsons Cos. was ordered by a Washington state judge to temporarily halt a $4 billion special dividend while the grocery chain’s pending merger with Kroger Co. is under regulatory review.

The ruling Thursday suspends Albertsons’ plan to reward shareholders including Cerberus Capital Management. Several states argued the payments would weaken the company’s ability to compete if its takeover by Kroger is blocked.