Family Dollar, Dollar Tree Receive Second Antitrust-Review Request

(The Charlotte Observer/MCT) -

Family Dollar and suitor Dollar Tree said Tuesday that they’ve received a request for more information about their planned combination from federal antitrust regulators.

But the two companies said they don’t think the second request from the Federal Trade Commission, which had been expected, will delay Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar, which is based in suburban Charlotte, N.C. The companies expect to close the deal as soon as the end of November, pending approval by regulators and Family Dollar shareholders.

The companies are trying to wrap up their deal, under which Dollar Tree, based in Virginia, would pay $74.50 a share in cash and stock for Family Dollar, even as rival Dollar General tries to break the acquisition up. Tennessee-based Dollar General made an all-cash, $80-a-share offer for Family Dollar that the discount retailer rejected last week. The offer was Dollar General’s second, and higher than its initial offer of $78.50.

Family Dollar’s board of directors has said regulators would be unlikely to approve an acquisition by Dollar General, which would create the nation’s largest “dollar store” chain, with almost 20,000 locations. Dollar General offered to sell up to 1,500 stores from the combined company to win antitrust approval, but Family Dollar’s board said the number was too low. Dollar Tree, on the other hand, has pledged to sell as many stores as necessary to make sure the deal closes.

Dollar General said last week that it’s still committed to acquiring Family Dollar, and that it’s evaluating all options. The company could decide to go directly to Family Dollar shareholders and solicit votes to block the Dollar Tree deal.