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Family Dollar Rejects Dollar General

Jennifer Lang

Matthews-based discount chain Family Dollar announced Thursday morning it's rejected an attempted acquisition by rival Dollar General. Family Dollar is sticking with an earlier offer from Dollar Tree, even though that offers is $1.2 billion less. 

Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine says his board of directors, outside advisors and consultants are concerned that antitrust issues would prevent a deal with Dollar General from going through. Antitrust concerns are not as significant with the Dollar Tree deal because there are more differences between the companies. Family Dollar sells many items for more than a dollar, while Dollar Tree does not.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn became Family Dollar's largest shareholder roughly two months ago and began pushing for a sale. In a statement, Icahn says he favors the new offer over the old one. Icahn suspects Matthews-based Family Dollar chose Dollar Tree in part because that deal saves a role for CEO Howard Levine.