Activist Elliott Management Corp. nominated a slate of seven candidates to the board of Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE:FDO), saying the existing leadership missed an opportunity to "facilitate a bidding war" between Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) and Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG).
Elliott, which says it has a 4.9% stake in Family Dollar, hadn't previously disclosed its investment in the retailer. Investors are required to detail their holdings in securities filings when they hit 5%.
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Family Dollar has repeatedly affirmed its plan to be sold to Dollar Tree Stores Inc. for about $8.5 billion in cash and stock, spurning a higher $9.1 billion all-cash offer from Dollar General.
The investor said its reservations about the company's merger pact with Dollar Tree "have increased in light of the board's rejection of Dollar General's clearly superior" bid.
A representative from Family Dollar wasn't immediately available to comment.
Elliott said it was nominating the board slate to protect its interests as one of Family Dollar's largest shareholders and to provide Dollar General with "an even playing field" in its continuing efforts to buy the company. Family Dollar's board currently has 11 directors, according to its website.
It added some of the events up to and since the signing of the merger agreement have left it concerned that some members of the existing board lack the experience needed to garner a better offer.
Elliott also pointed to a Saturday deadline for shareholders to nominate directors for consideration at next year's annual meeting, according to Family Dollar's bylaws.
Among the candidates put forth by Elliott are the former finance chiefs of CBS Corp. and Textron Corp.-- Fredric Reynolds and Ted French-- Jonathan Macey of Yale Law School, and Marshall Heinberg, the former head of investment banking at Oppenheimer & Co.
As for its other recent moves, Elliott has made a takeover bid for Riverbed Technology Inc. and pushed for data-storage provider EMC Corp. to spin off its VMware Inc. unit.