Activist investor Carl Icahn recently sold his stake in discount retail chain Dollar Tree, according to a report late Monday.
Icahn, who acquired a 2 percent stake in Dollar Tree last year, is no longer invested in the company, the New York Post reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The billionaire is said to have acquired the stake when he “thought it was dirt cheap” and sold off his shares as prices climbed into the upper $90 range.
Dollar Tree shares were mostly unchanged and were trading above $98 at midday Tuesday. The company’s stock has risen about 15 percent in the last six months.
Icahn’s apparent exit was revealed hours after New York hedge fund Starboard Value LP disclosed a 1.7 percent stake in Dollar Tree and urged the chain to sell off its struggling Family Dollar stores. The hedge fund proposed seven new members for Dollar Tree’s 12-member board of directors in a bid to acquire majority control.
Starboard is also pushing Dollar Tree to sell some items for more than $1, in what would amount to a reversal of the chain’s longstanding policy.
“While we appreciate Starboard’s investment and will evaluate any suggestions they may have as we would with any investor, we note that Starboard’s nominations for a majority of the board were made without seeking any engagement or making any communication to the Company,” Dollar Tree said in response to Starboard’s proposals. “We look forward to the opportunity to engage with Starboard regarding any suggestions they may have, and we will continue to stay close to our shareholders on matters of importance to them and keep taking actions to drive shareholder value.”