Report: Icahn has sold all of his Family Dollar shares

Carl Icahn, billionaire investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises Holdings LP
Carl Icahn, billionaire investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises Holdings LP BLOOMBERG

Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor who pressed Family Dollar to put itself up for sale, has sold all of his shares, according to a Reuters report.

Icahn, whose 9.4 percent stake in the Matthews-based discount retail chain made him its largest investor, pocketed a profit of about $200 million, according to the report.

The news comes in the wake of his highly publicized criticism of Family Dollar, whose performance has lagged rivals.

Icahn had urged Family Dollar to pursue a sale to Dollar General, and sharply criticized Family Dollar’s leaders when they didn’t.

He called Family Dollar’s board of directors “a crony board” more concerned with ensuring CEO Howard Levine, son of founder Leon Levine, gets to keep a job than with getting the most money for shareholders.

In July, securities filings showed that Icahn had sold much of his stake in the company, and controlled just 3.6 percent of Family Dollar’s stock.

It isn’t clear exactly when he sold the remainder, the Reuters report said.

Family Dollar is studying competing buyout offers from Dollar General and Dollar Tree.

Family Dollar, founded in Charlotte in 1959, announced in July it had reached agreement on a $74.50 per-share cash-and-stock deal with Virginia-based Dollar Tree. But larger rival Dollar General last month offered to buy Family Dollar in a $78.50 per-share all-cash deal – $4 a share, or 5.4 percent, higher than the Dollar Tree offer.

Family Dollar rejected Tennessee-based Dollar General’s offer four days after the unsolicited bid emerged. On Tuesday, Dollar General increased its offer to $80 per share and said it would be willing to divest itself of as many as 1,500 stores to avoid problems with federal antitrust regulators.

Family Dollar said it would review the new offer. The company’s stock closed up less than 1 percent Wednesday at $80.23.

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