Shareholder adviser to Family Dollar: Delay vote

Family Dollar Stores investors should oppose the current Dollar Tree takeover offer and postpone a Dec.23 meeting to vote on the deal, shareholder adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. said.

Not accepting the current transaction won’t jeopardize an eventual deal with Dollar Tree and could result in a higher price, the firm said in a report. Another dollar-store chain, Dollar General, has made rival bids, though Family Dollar management has said a merger with that retailer would face higher regulatory hurdles.

Delaying a decision may result in a higher offer from either Dollar Tree or Dollar General, ISS said. Postponing the meeting is unlikely to scuttle the Dollar Tree deal or even delay its closing, according to the firm.

Shares of Matthews-based Family Dollar closed at $79.48 Thursday, down 10 cents. The company was founded in Charlotte in 1959 by Leon Levine, now a major local philanthropist, and is run by his son Howard Levine.

Shareholder advisory firms such as ISS typically advise a company’s stockholders how to vote on major corporate deals such as mergers. Their recommendations carry weight, and can help sway a vote. Staff Writer Ely Portillo contributed.