Shareholders of family Dollar Stores Inc. have approved the $8.5 billion buyout by Dollar Tree Inc.
The proposed merger is still subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission.
Bob Sasser, the chief executive officer of Dollar Tree, will head up the combined company. Howard Levine, Family Dollar’s ceo and chairman, will join the board of the combined firm and stay on to manage the Family Dollar operation.
Dollar General Corp., the other competitor in the dollar store wars that offered more in a hostile takeover bid, is left on the sidelines. Dollar General’s offer was $9.1 billion at $80 a share, compared with Dollar Tree’s $74.50 cash-and-stock offer.
Family Dollar agreed to be acquired by Dollar Tree in July. In August it rejected a competing and higher offer from Dollar General based on antitrust concerns. The fight turned nasty in September when Dollar General went hostile with its bid. The nasty fight involved a battle over store count and how many doors Dollar General might have to shutter to obtain FTC approval. Dollar Tree has been in talks with the FTC to satisfy antitrust concerns.
Family Tree said Thursday that Dollar Tree is expected to execute a consent decree with the FTC that would permit clearance for the merger to close sometime next month. The consent decree will finalize the number of doors Dollar Tree will have to shutter to win FTC approval to buyout its larger rival.
The combined entity will have annual volume of more than $18 billion. It will operate both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar nameplates and have more than 13,000 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces. It’s still unclear how many stores will be closed to satisfy FTC requirements, although that number is expected to be about 300.