As California prepares lawsuit to block Albertsons acquisition, Kroger claims unions would benefit

As California appears prepared to sue to block Kroger Co.’s $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons Cos., Kroger fired back Thursday that there’s a big reason not to block the deal, claiming it would be better for union workers.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta told media present in Washington D.C. that there was “not a lot of reason not to sue” to block the deal, and that his office was “moving toward acting,” after meeting with Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan earlier Thursday, according to Bloomberg News.

In a response late Thursday, Kroger argued workers and customers would benefit from the merger.

“Only non-unionized retailers, like Walmart and Amazon, will benefit if this merger is blocked,” Kroger said in a statement. “In fact, Kroger joining with Albertsons will mean lower prices for customers, secure union jobs and more food directed to hungry families, with 10 billion meals committed to people in need across America by 2030.”

Back in September, Kroger

and Albertsons

said they would sell more than 400 stores in a $1.9 billion deal to gain regulatory approval. Kroger announced the $24.6 billion offer to acquire Albertsons almost a year ago.

Kroger shares, which had originally been down almost 2% after hours, swung to a 1.3% gain in the extended session, while Albertsons shares remained down 0.8% after hours.

Over the past 12 months, Kroger shares have declined almost 4%, while Albertsons shares have dropped 11.5%, versus a 13% advance on the S&P 500 index

Meanwhile, Walmart

shares have gained 21% over the past 12 months, while Inc.

shares have gained 17%.

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