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DOJ Loses Bid To Block Sugar Mega-Merger

 |  September 25, 2022

A US judge ruled in favor of US Sugar Corp’s plans to buy rival Imperial Sugar, rejecting a Justice Department argument that the proposed deal would drive up the price of sugar for households as well as for food and soda makers.

The Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed last November that the $315 million deal would give some 75% of refined sugar sales in the U.S. southeast US Sugar, owner and member of a cooperative with three other companies, and American Sugar Refining, which sells under the Domino brand. 

US Sugar said in a statement that it was “pleased” with the decision.

The Justice Department, which can appeal the loss, said it was reviewing its optionsand that it was “disappointed.”

Judge Maryellen Noreika of the US District Court for Delaware issued the opinion under seal and said a redacted version would be available.

The government, which called US Sugar “the world’s largest vertically-integrated cane sugar milling and refining operation,” argued that the deal would lead to higher sugar prices in the southeastern United States, saying the two companies often compete to win contracts from companies that make drinks, snacks and other prepared foods.

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