Dollar Tree may shed more stores to buy Family Dollar

Tue Feb 3, 2015 6:07pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O: Quote) said it may need to divest more stores than expected to satisfy antitrust regulators reviewing its planned acquisition of Family Dollar Stores Inc FDO.N.

Dollar Tree has previously said it expects to divest fewer than 300 stores to satisfy the regulators reviewing a deal that would create the No. 1 discount store chain in the United States.

In a filing on Tuesday, the company said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was reviewing more than 500 stores and that it may identify additional stores for review in the future.

"The actual number of divestitures may therefore be above or below 300," Dollar Tree said in the filing.

By acquiring Family Dollar, Dollar Tree will leapfrog rival bidder Dollar General Corp (DG.N: Quote) to become the largest discount retailer in the United States.

Family Dollar shareholders approved Dollar Tree's $8.5 billion cash-and-stock offer last month, scuppering a higher hostile offer from Dollar General. The deal remains subject to FTC approval, expected by the end of March.

Antitrust regulators are scrutinizing the deal over concerns that the merger could result in price hikes at discount stores.

The FTC declined to comment on Tuesday. Family Dollar was not immediately available for comment.

If the deal is approved, Dollar Tree would have more than $18 billion in annual sales and 13,000 stores across the United States and Canada. This total does not take into account possible store divestitures.   Continued...

 
A view of the sign outside the Dollar Tree store in Westminster, Colorado, February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking