The fight over Albertsons’s $4 billion dividend payment is continuing. The grocer announced Wednesday that a Washington state court extended the postponement of the dividend until a hearing in December.
The grocer’s payout to investors remains paused due to a temporary restraining order requested by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. A hearing on the matter, which was set for this week, got delayed to Dec. 9, marking the second time the court has pushed the hearing’s date. Albertsons was originally slated to pay the dividend on Nov. 7.
Ferguson is arguing that the dividend would hurt Albertsons’ financial health and its ability to compete while its proposed $24.6 billion merger with Kroger undergoes regulatory review. Albertsons maintains its position that the challenge is “meritless and provides no basis for canceling or postponing a dividend.” Albertsons also noted that the dividend was unanimously approved by the company’s board of directors.
Albertsons fought off another challenge to the dividend brought by attorneys general for California, Illinois and Washington, D.C. Last week, a federal court in Washington, D.C., denied a temporary restraining order requested by those three attorneys general, who filed a joint suit.