U.S. to appeal court loss against sugar merger

WASHINGTON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday that it would appeal a judge's ruling that U.S. Sugar Corp's plans to buy rival Imperial Sugar Co was legal under antitrust law, according to a court filing.

Judge Maryellen Noreika of the U.S. District Court for Delaware had ruled for the companies on Friday, rejecting the government's request that she stop the deal from going forward.

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 to U.S. Sugar, owner and member of a cooperative with three other companies, and American Sugar Refining, which sells under the Domino brand.

An official for U.S. Sugar did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Kim Coghill)