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Family Dollar drama spans four years

Monday marked four years to the day since an activist investor first disclosed he owned a stake in Family Dollar and wanted big changes – starting the drama that culminated in Family Dollar’s planned sale to rival Dollar Tree.

Here are key moments that brought Charlotte’s homegrown discount retailer to Monday’s announcement:

• July 28, 2010: Activist investor Nelson Peltz first discloses that he owns 6.6 percent of Family Dollar and pushes for changes, such as quicker store openings and more stock buybacks.

• Feb. 15, 2011: Peltz announces he now owns 8 percent of the stock and makes an unsolicited offer to buy Family Dollar for $55 to $60 a share.

• March 3, 2011: Family Dollar rejects Peltz’s bid and adopts a “poison pill” to repulse any takeover attempt.

• Sept. 29, 2011: Peltz withdraws his bid in exchange for a seat on the board of directors for his associate Ed Garden.

• Feb. 24, 2012: Family Dollar extends its “poison pill” anti-takeover defense for another year.

• Jan. 9, 2014: Family Dollar president Michael Bloom departs unexpectedly after the retailer posts disappointing quarterly results.

• April 2: Family Dollar announces it will cut 135 jobs at its Matthews headquarters.

• April 10: Following another poor quarter, Family Dollar says it will close 370 under-performing stores to improve results.

• June 6: Carl Icahn first discloses that he owns 9.4 percent of the company, and says he plans to push for major changes – possibly including the sale of Family Dollar.

• June 9: Family Dollar says it’s adopted another “poison pill” to prevent a hostile takeover.

• June 18: Icahn and Howard Levine have dinner together, according to securities filings. They discuss the company’s future, and Icahn says they have “a strong difference of opinion.”

• June 19: Icahn demands in a public letter that Family Dollar be sold immediately, and threatens to go to shareholders for a vote to fire the entire board of directors if he doesn’t get his way.

• June 27: Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling announces plans to retire, throwing a monkey wrench into Icahn’s plan to merge the two companies.

• July 10: Family Dollar announces disappointing earnings again. The company says it plans to add beer and wine to its stores nationwide to boost sales. Levine says the company’s standalone strategy to turn its results around is working. “We’re still in the early stages of our turnaround,” Levine says. “Our trends are beginning to improve.”

• July 16: During an appearance on CNBC, Icahn says he still wants to see Family Dollar sold. “The CEO shouldn’t be the CEO,” Icahn says.

• Monday: Dollar Tree announces it will acquire Family Dollar for $8.5 billion worth of cash and stock.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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