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US Sugar-Imperial Sugar Deal Can Proceed as DOJ Motion Is Denied

Sept. 28, 2022, 7:30 PM

The Justice Department failed to convince a federal judge to pause US Sugar Corp.'s acquisition of rival Imperial Sugar long enough to give the government time to appeal the judge’s ruling that greenlit the deal.

Judge Maryellen Noreika of the US District Court for the District of Delaware said in an order Wednesday that the government had not established that the $315 million acquisition would result in irreparable harm. The deal could close as soon as midnight on Oct. 3, the government said previously.

The DOJ’s antitrust division argued that the deal would further consolidate the sugar production market in the Southeastern US.

Last week, Noreika ruled that the deal didn’t violate antitrust law. DOJ attorneys filed a notice of appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit after her ruling.

They asked her on Tuesday to approve an emergency temporary injunction pausing the deal’s close so they had time to file and proceed with the appeal.

“In essence, as Defendants put it, ‘the Government continues to try to obtain via delay what it could not obtain on the merits,’” Noreika wrote.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is United States of America v. United States Sugar Corporation et al, D. Del., no. 1:21-cv-01644, 9/29/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Papscun in Washington at dpapscun@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Roger Yu at ryu@bloomberglaw.com