Dollar Tree-Family Dollar Deal Gets FTC Approval

Dollar Tree Inc. said Thursday it has been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission to acquire Family Dollar Stores Inc., bringing to a close a merger saga that started nearly a year ago.

Dollar Tree anticipates closing the deal--worth nearly $9 billion--on July 6, according to a regulatory filing. The company had targeted a May close date.

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The Virginia-based operator of discount stories said in April that the FTC had substantially completed its review of the planned acquisition and identified about 340 stores for divestiture.

Dollar Tree spent much of 2014 in a bidding war with rival Dollar General Inc. over Family Dollar. Dollar General had long eyed buying up Family Dollar, but those plans were derailed when Dollar Tree swooped in last summer with a cash-and-stock offer.

Dollar General came in three weeks later with an all-cash offer of its own, but it failed to satisfy concerns from Family Dollar's board that combining the biggest two dollar store chains would face significant antitrust hurdles.

In January, Family Dollar shareholders overwhelmingly approved being sold to Dollar Tree, choosing regulatory certainty over a riskier--but higher--offer from Dollar General. Dollar Tree deal won 89% of the vote, effectively bringing Dollar General's longtime pursuit of its main rival to an end.

In May, Dollar Tree gave a muted guidance, tightening its full-year outlook.

Shares of Dollar Tree have increased about 13% this year through Wednesday's close.

(By Angela Chen)