Icahn sells more Family Dollar stock

Activist investor Carl Icahn sold more of his Family Dollar stock Wednesday, one day after revealing that he was cutting his stake in the company following its planned sale to rival Dollar Tree.

Icahn said in securities filings that he now controls just 3.6 percent of Family Dollar’s stock, down from 9.4 percent when the deal was announced Monday. He’s gone from being the company’s largest shareholder to its 10th largest in three days.

Dollar Tree said Monday that it plans to buy Family Dollar for $74.50 a share in cash and stock. Icahn had been publicly pressing for a sale of Family Dollar for weeks, claiming the company had under-performed its competitors.

Wednesday’s filing shows Icahn made all of his stock sales at $75.27 a share, above $74.50. Icahn received $207 million in the sales. The stock has traded above the announced buyout price because of speculation that another bidder could make a higher offer than Dollar Tree. Icahn said Monday he hoped the deal would flush out a higher bidder.

Icahn, who is worth more than $24 billion, said in securities filings that he believes his capital is better deployed elsewhere than holding Family Dollar stock until the deal closes or a higher bidder emerges.

As of Monday, Icahn had already generated paper profits of $174 million since he first bought Family Dollar stock. His final gains on the deal will be higher, however, if he keeps selling stock above the $74.50 price Dollar Tree is offering.