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Confused about what’s going on with Family Dollar? We break it down in 5 steps

The Story

Shareholders likely to approve sale of Matthews-based Family Dollar to Dollar Tree Thursday.

Long trip down the dollar-laden path

This drama has been going on for quite some time. We break it down for you in 5 easy steps:

(1) Family Dollar’s bottom line has gotten thin over the past few years, thanks to a lousy economy, too many sales and promotions that cost big advertising dollars and increasing reliance on food, cleaning supplies and other low-profit “consumable” goods.

(2) The chain’s poor performance made it appealing to its competitors. A bidding war erupted.

(3) Dollar Tree is bidding $8.5 billion. Dollar General has offered $9.1 billion.

(4) So Dollar General will win, right? Probably not. It has far more stores, making federal regulator approval unlikely without the chain selling off thousands of stores. Dollar Tree will only have to sell about 300.

(5) Analysts are recommending Family Dollar accept the Dollar Tree bid. Shareholders appeared poised to do that.

Why should I care?

Family Dollar has been a local corporate stalwart. The Levine family has invested millions into Charlotte. With this acquisition, the Matthews headquarters will likely shrink, affecting 1,300 people who work there.

Photo: Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer