CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dollar Tree officially owns Family Dollar.
In a statement Monday, Virginia-based Dollar Tree said it has completed its $8.5 billion purchase of Family Dollar, based in the Charlotte suburb of Matthews, drawing to a close a yearlong takeover saga that included a separate buyout attempt from another discount retailer, Dollar General.
It also effectively ends local ownership of the homegrown retail chain that traces its roots back to 1959, when Leon Levine opened the first Family Dollar store with a $6,000 loan.
Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree’s chief executive officer, called the deal a “transformational opportunity” that will allow the company to offer merchandise to a wider array of customers.
“This acquisition will extend our reach to low-income customers, while strengthening and diversifying our footprint,” Sasser said in the statement.
As part of the deal, Family Dollar shareholders will receive $59.60 in cash and about 0.25 of a share of Dollar Tree common stock for each share of Family Dollar common stock they own.
Last week, federal regulators approved the $8.5 billion sale of the company to Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree — one of the last steps necessary to complete the deal. The two companies said in separate securities filings that the deal is subject to completion of certain closing conditions, and that it is anticipated to close July 6.
As part of the deal, Dollar Tree will sell 330 Family Dollar stores to a New York private equity firm called Sycamore Partners within 150 days of the deal’s close. The firm said in May that it plans to operate the divested stores under the banner Dollar Express.
For the Family Dollar stores that remain, Dollar Tree has said that it will keep the chain’s name. Dollar Tree also said it will maintain Family Dollar’s headquarters.
What’s unknown for Family Dollar could come in the way of cost-cutting measures its new parent company plans to take over the next several years to make the combined company more profitable.
Dollar Tree has said it plans to trim annual expenses by $300 million in the deal over the next three years, which could include a slew of changes for Family Dollar, including possible layoffs for some of the 1,300 workers at Family Dollar’s corporate headquarters in Matthews.
Analysts say combining the two companies will almost certainly bring the loss of some corporate jobs. But cuts likely would have been more severe if the $9.1 billion rival bid by Dollar General for Family Dollar had been successful, analysts have said.
Family Dollar shareholders ultimately approved the sale of the company to Dollar Tree in January because they saw it as more likely than a Dollar General takeover to win approval from antitrust regulators since Dollar Tree and Family Dollar’s business models are so different.
While Dollar Tree sells everything in its stores for $1 or less, both Family Dollar and Dollar General sell a variety of items and national brands for under $10.
Dollar Tree Chief Executive Officer Bob Sasser said in the company’s annual shareholders meeting in June that he plans to lower prices at and improve the appearance of Family Dollar stores after the deal is closed.
Sasser said the chain has strayed from its strategy in recent years by adding stores in suburban areas and raising prices on too many items.
While Sasser will be head of the combined company, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine will join the board of directors and continue to help manage Family Dollar, the two companies have said.
The combined company will operate about 13,000 stores, making it the largest dollar store chain in the U.S. by store count.
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