Family Dollar Shareholders Approve Sale to Dollar Tree

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer/TNS) -

Family Dollar shareholders voted Thursday to sell the retailer to rival Dollar Tree.

Virginia-based Dollar Tree has said the Family Dollar name will live on, with many of Family Dollar’s stores remaining. While Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser will be head of the combined company, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine will join the board of directors and continue to help manage Family Dollar, which is based in the Charlotte suburb of Matthews, N.C.

About 74 percent of Family Dollar shares were voted in favor of the deal, meaning Family Dollar successfully fended off a hostile bid from challenger Dollar General. Although Tennessee-based Dollar General offered more money, Dollar Tree’s bid was more likely to be approved by antitrust regulators, Levine said.

The vote had been widely expected to go Dollar Tree’s way, after Dollar General declined last week to offer shareholders more money and said it would need more time to get regulatory approval. Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling criticized Thursday’s vote in a statement.

“Today’s vote is a loss not only for Family Dollar shareholders, but also for consumers across the country who will not have the opportunity to benefit from the cost savings and efficiencies that we believe would have been created by a merger between Dollar General and Family Dollar,” Dreiling said. “Family Dollar’s lack of engagement and a contracted transaction timeline ultimately prevented us from completing this transaction.”

Levine said after the vote that the companies would maintain a presence at both their headquarters for some time, though he didn’t specify how many employees are expected to remain in the Charlotte area.

“Both companies have a significant presence in their local communities,” said Levine. “In the foreseeable future, both headquarters will be maintained.”