INVESTORS ANTICIPATE DEAL BETWEEN A&P, PATHMARK

MONTVALE, N.J. - The gravitational force between A&P and Pathmark appeared to intensify last week when A&P here said it would issue a special dividend that investors - and some analysts - interpreted as prelude to a long-anticipated merger with rival Pathmark.A&P's payout of $7.25 a share rewards its stockholders with $300 million in cash generated by the sale of its Canadian assets last summer. It

MONTVALE, N.J. - The gravitational force between A&P and Pathmark appeared to intensify last week when A&P here said it would issue a special dividend that investors - and some analysts - interpreted as prelude to a long-anticipated merger with rival Pathmark.

A&P's payout of $7.25 a share rewards its stockholders with $300 million in cash generated by the sale of its Canadian assets last summer. It could also facilitate an A&P-Pathmark merger by lowering A&P's sto

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