The Kroger-Albertsons merger spotlights a popular private equity tactic

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At a time when corporate consolidation has become a major concern in Washington, D.C., the proposed deal has drawn a great deal of pushback via nytimes

Cerberus is the largest investor in Albertsons, the country’s second-largest supermarket chain by revenue. In October, Kroger, which is nearly twice the size of Albertsons, announced it was going to buy its smaller rival for $24.6 billion. If the deal were to go through without any government-mandated divestitures, the combined company would own some 5,000 stores, making it by far the dominant grocery chain in the country.

Dividend recapitalizations — or dividend recaps, as they are called — have become a fairly common trick in the private equity playbook. Last year, according to a Bloomberg report, companies borrowed around $80 billion — a record — to pay out dividends to their private equity owners. Critics say that dividend recaps too often leave companies without enough capital to withstand a business downturn.

Last month, a group of attorneys general, including Racine in Washington, D.C., and Bob Ferguson in Washington state, filed lawsuits against Kroger and Albertsons hoping to stop the dividend payment.

 

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nytimes We need variety not another MF monopoly!

nytimes tl;dr: Unmitigated Greed?

nytimes When has a monopoly been good for the consumer? Never.

nytimes They will have a strangle hold on food supply in multiple states

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